Alaphilippe proves doubters wrong with sensational Stage 12 win in Giro d’Italia

by spencerhays92

Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal Quick-Step) proved his doubters – including his own manager – wrong and did so in swashbuckling style by soloing to Stage 12 glory in Fano after a breakaway of over 125km went the distance in the lumpy Le Marche region of central Italy.

Frenchman Alaphilippe combined superbly with fellow escapee Mirco Maestri (Polti-Kometa) to keep a strong chase group at bay before blasting clear on the double-digit ramps of Monte Giove with 10km remaining of a spellbinding stage.

Showing that form is fleeting but panache is permanent, Alaphilippe put his recent troubles behind to leave his mark in his maiden Giro and complete his collection of victories in all three of cycling’s Grand Tours.

Alaphilippe’s victory was a popular result, with the rider who came second – Jhonatan Narvaez of Ineos Grenadiers – the first to warmly congratulate his colleague after a sensational win that saw the 31-year-old former double world champion roll back the years.

Stage 1 winner Narvaez was part of a strong nine-man chase group that broke up on the final climb in a bid to catch the lone leader. Despite combining with Belgium’s Quinten Hermans (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Narvaez was unable to reduce the arrears and double his stage tally at this year’s race, the in-form Ecuadorian national champion crossing the line 31 seconds down just ahead of Hermans.

Denmark’s Michael Valgren (EF Education-EasyPost) pipped Italy’s Christian Scaroni (Astana Qazaqstan) to complete the top five before Italian veteran Matteo Trentin (Tudor Pro Cycling) led home the remainder of the chase group, including that man Maestri, who had gone clear with Alaphilippe with 138km to go of am undulating 193km stage that resulted in what Eurosport expert Robbie McEwen described as “a ride for the ages”.

Alaphilippe ‘let his legs do the talking’ in ‘ride for the ages’

Race leader Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) survived another day in pink as the main field came home over five minutes in arrears. The Slovenian leads Colombia’s Dani Martinez (Bora-Hansgrohe) by 2’40” with Britain’s Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) a further 16 seconds back in third ahead of Friday’s sprinter-suited 13th stage.

While Alaphilippe was swamped with well wishes from colleagues in the finish area after his first win in almost a year, no one was happier than the man himself, whose season has been troubled by a persistent knee injury and by open outbursts from his Soudal Quick-Step manager Patrick Lefevere, who has publicly criticised his star rider’s lifestyle and training.

“It’s a win that means a huge amount to me. An important win for me,” he said. “I think of my wife and my son who supported me a lot through these recent times and forever. I must also thank my team who really controlled the first 60km of a stage that I had targeted. I’m really happy.

“We went first in a big group and then with Mirco Maestro. We collaborated well together. I believed in the win but until the last kilometre I had to keep pushing full gas because I heard Jhonatan Narvaez was behind.”

‘I didn’t plan it!’ – Alaphilippe reacts to stunning solo win

Alaphilippe’s description of the day’s break as a “big group” was something of an understatement, with the best part of 40 riders eventually going clear after a frantic opening hour along the Adriatic coast that saw average speeds reach 56.9 km/h.

No sooner had this break formed than Alaphilippe decided to roll the dice early in a move alongside the Italian Maestri which seemed if not a little ill-judged then certainly rather optimistic.

But with the second phase of the so-called ‘muro’ stage peppered with the infamous double-digit ramps – or ‘walls’ – of this neck of the Le Marche woods, getting ahead proved a canny move from the duo.

Before too long, the gap grew to two minutes over a nine-man chase group that featured Naevaez, Hermans, Scaroni, Valgren, Stage 5 winner Benjamin Thomas (Codifis), Dion Smith (Intermarche-Wanty), Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech), Gijs Leemreize (Jayco-AlUla) and Trentin.

Italian veteran Trentin had already been in an early three-man break which never managed to take more than a minute’s advantage over the peloton during the fast opening hour of racing. If Alaphilippe had been instrumental in nullifying that trio on the first of numerous uncategorised hills, he rode to his strengths alongside Maestri as the pair shared out points over the succession of Cat.4 climbs and uphill sprints on the menu.

With Czech climber Jan Hirt (Soudal Quick-Step) – who started the day in 11th place in the standings – in the second chase group alongside other fringe GC riders Juan Pedro Lopez (Lidl-Trek) and Domenico Pozzovivo (VF Group-Bardiani CSF-Faizane), it was left to the Bahrain Victorious team of the white jersey Antonio Tiberi to pull in the peloton.

As the pack dropped six minutes back, Hirt rode for much of the stage with a foot on the virtual podium – although once Bahrain Victorious combined with Pogacar’s UAE team on the front, the advantage of the second group came down fast.

‘He can’t follow!’ – Watch moment Alaphilippe drops Maestri on way to victory

Entering the final 20km, the duo’s lead dropped under a minute. But they continued to combine well before Alaphilippe dropped Maestri at the start of Monte Giove as he rode off towards a memorable victory – the 42nd of his illustrious career.

Maestri eventually took ninth place on a day that he would describe as his hardest but most beautiful on a bike. It was also a bittersweet day for young Frenchman Ewen Costiou (Arkea B&B Hotels) who rode clear of the first chase group with Scaroni in pursuit of the two leaders – only for a chain issue forcing him to swap bikes and drop back to the second group, which was duly caught by the pack with around 15km remaining.

The fast tempo set by Bahrain Victorious strung out what was left of the main field and momentarily caused a few splits ahead of the final climb. But despite Bora’s Martinez coming to the front to test his legs on the gradient, none of the GC riders tried to put the pink jersey under any pressure.

After Friday’s pan-flat sprint stage, Saturday’s 31km time trial will provide Pogacar with the ideal platform to stretch out his already commanding lead before the Slovenian could put the contest to bed on Sunday’s summit finish at Livigno.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

multipurpose site for ROV ,drone services,mineral ores,ingots,agro commodities-oils,pulses,fatty acid distillate,rice,tomato concentrate,animal waste -gallstones,maggot feed ,general purpose niche -consumer goods,consumer electronics and all .Compedium of news around the world,businesses,ecommerce ,mineral,machines promotion and affiliation and just name it ...
multipurpose site for ROV ,drone services,mineral ores,ingots,agro commodities-oils,pulses,fatty acid distillate,rice,tomato concentrate,animal waste -gallstones,maggot feed ,general purpose niche -consumer goods,consumer electronics and all .Compedium of news around the world,businesses,ecommerce ,mineral,machines promotion and affiliation and just name it ...

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy