This Giro is true to its reputation of being a demanding, exhausting Grand Tour where respite is rare. This 12th stage between Parma and Genova, the first one of the week with climbs, proved it in its own way. Before a weekend where the puncheurs and climbers will be king, the day had the value of an appetizer with the long climb of Passo del Bocco and then the unprecedented ascent of Monte Becco, all along the 204 kilometres on the program (with nearly 3000 meters of positive difference in altitude).
Tomorrow, a new opportunity for the sprinters?
For Cofidis, the main thing was once again to protect the good position of Guillaume Martin in the general classification, who was in 6th position before the race. The riders of the Nordic team worked on this all day. During a stage where the breakaway had difficulties to emerge, Simone Consonni managed to get into the good break of the day, within a group of 25 riders.
On the last climb of the day (4,3km at 7,9%), the pace increased and the sprinter of the Nordiste team couldn't follow the fastest riders. He crossed the line in 21st position. Guillaume Martin, on his side, finishes in the peloton of the favourites and keeps his 6th place overall.
Tomorrow, the riders will start from Sanremo, the seaside town that has been in the spotlight of the cycling world this spring. The stage will be short (150 km) but it won't be easy. Indeed, the peloton will have to climb the Nava pass after 54 km. A difficulty that seems to be too far away to prevent the sprinters to explain themselves once more in the plain of Cuneo.
Guillaume Martin: "It was a relatively calm day for me even if it was very fast, especially at the beginning of the race. Almost two hours at 50km/h. We had Consonni in the breakaway so it was very good for us. I tried to spend the day as calm as possible and to preserve as much energy as possible with the help of my team-mates. Tomorrow I am expecting another eventful stage where it will be another battle for the breakaway even if it is likely to be a sprint. This weekend, it's time for the mountains and that's when we will have to be present.
Jean-Luc Jonrond, Directeur Sportif: "The breakaway took a long time to get out today, there was a lot of fighting. We knew that there was a chance that it would go all the way. Anthony tried, but in the end it was Simone who was able to join it after the intermediate sprint. On the last climb, which was quite difficult, he couldn't follow. It was a good attempt, but he missed a little bit in the final. For Guillaume, he has obviously had a good day in the peloton, which is satisfying.