Thursday, June 8, 2023

Denz wins his first Grand Tour stage after breakaway, Thomas stays in lead

German Nico Denz took the 12th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Thursday for his first Grand Tour victory, while Geraint Thomas retained the overall leader’s pink jersey on the eve of the first big day in the Alps.

Danz, a rider from the Bora-Hansgrohe team, passed Latvian Toms Skujins and Austrian Sebastian Berwick at the end of the 185-kilometre (115 mi) ride between Bra and Rivoli in the Piedmont region.

Danz’s first stage win in his sixth Giro had him beaming with joy as he crossed the finish line, covering his face with his hands and tears welling up in his eyes.

Three runners were part of the long escape.

The trio broke away from the other breakaway after the second category climb 30 kilometers (20 mi) from the stage, opening a gap of over eight minutes on the group of leaders in the general classification in the stage’s most difficult section. ,

“The most difficult moment for me was the last climb. I suffered a lot, and with just enough I was able to reach the top,” Benz said. “Having reached the last climb, I took advantage of the descent to recover. And only then did I think that I I can. They didn’t attack me, so I went in.”

The other escapees crossed the finish line 2 minutes 20 seconds late, almost six minutes ahead of the general classification leaders.

Thomas maintains a two-second gap on Primoz Rogik and is 22 ahead of Joao Almeida.

A minute’s silence was held before the start of Thursday’s stage in honor of those affected by the floods in Emilia-Romagna.

It was a quiet day for the leading pack after being shaken by the withdrawal of favorite Ramko Evenpoel after testing positive for coronavirus after Wednesday’s crash and the loss of Tao Geoghegan Hart.

Geoghegan Hart was third overall, five seconds behind his Ineos Grenadiers teammate Thomas.

“This race has changed,” said Thomas. “When I had him in my side, well, we had two options. His departure is a big blow to the team. And he was doing very well.”

Most runners preferred to save energy for the Thursday before the first challenge in the high mountains.

Friday’s 13th stage will feature three world-class climbs over a 199-kilometre (124-mile) course between the finish line at the summit of Borgofranco d’Ivoire and Crans Montana.

Significant changes are expected in the general classification. A good response from Thomas set him up to become the Giro’s oldest ever champion when the race finishes in Rome on 28 May, three days after the Briton turns 37.

Fiorenzo Magni was 34 when he won the 1955 Giro.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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