Stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia can be described as a thoroughly enjoyable and wholesome day of bike racing culminating in a surprise Italian win from the day’s breakaway. Stefano Oldani (Alpecin-Fenix) took the victory from the formidable front trio after out-sprinting breakaway companions Lorenzo Rota (Intermarche Wanty-Gobert) and Gijs Leemreize (Jumbo-Visma) in beautiful Genoa. A calm day for the general classification riders saw Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) retain the Maglia Rosa for another stage with no changes in the Top 10. However Wilco Kelderman (Bora-hansgrohe), Lucas Hamilton (Team BikeExchange) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) leapt back into the Top 20 after finishing 8 minutes ahead of the main bunch.
Flatter than a flat thing from Flat Town was Stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia. So with 203km to ride, it looked to be pretty uneventful until the final kilometre or so. And so it was, except for a little echelon action in the middle, but other than using up energy, nothing really came of it. But for a no-surprise stage, it really did have the twist in the tail – or a rocket in its pocket. Team DSM’s Alberto Dainese came out of nowhere, hoodwinking the lot of them, to take the bunch win from a very frustrated Fernando Gaviria (UAE). Simone Consonni of the Mighty ‘Dis was third. Did the GC change at all? Only marginally – Richard Carapaz picked up 3 bonus seconds at the second intermediate sprint and is now in 2nd overall, on the same time as Joao Almeida. Did the jerseys change at all? No. They did not.
Today, Biniam Girmay became the first Black African rider to win a stage at a Grand Tour. Considering Grand Tours have been around for almost 120 years, that’s a hell of a glass ceiling to smash through. Everything else about stage 10 of this year’s Giro d’Italia will be but a footnote to this historic achievement.
For the record, after Girmay (Intermarche Wanty) came Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin) and Vincenzo Albanese (EOLO). The GC leaderboard didn’t take too many knocks.