From Parma to Genoa, under quite hot temperatures, stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia proved to be a good day for the breakaway, as Italy’s Stefano Oldani took the win in the port town. Arnaud Démare got to the finish line about twenty minutes later with most of his teammates, after having increased his lead in the points classification during the intermediate sprint located at the start of the stage. Towards Cuneo tomorrow, the course could lead to a sprint.

The day’s profile towards the Ligurian coast, on Thursday, was one clearly made for the breakaway. As often in such a situation, the fight to get into the right move therefore proved to be the most intense part of the race. Eventually, the breakaway established itself after no less than sixty kilometres. This even occurred just after Arnaud Démare won the intermediate sprint in Borgo Val di Taro. “Given that there was no breakaway when we approached the sprint, Arnaud gained twelve points, which is the good thing about today“, noted Sébastien Joly. In the lead, the breakaway made of about twenty men included Mathieu van der Poel, Bauke Mollema, Wilco Kelderman and Lucas Hamilton, but no member of the Groupama-FDJ cycling team. “After seeing the guys last night, we felt that they were coming off of two tough stages”, explained Sébastien Joly. “We felt it was best to ease off a bit today. We preferred to manage our strengths ahead of the next few days. We still designated Attila to try to get into the breakaway. He didn’t manage to take it, but it doesn’t matter, he will have other chances in the next few days”.

“The goal was also to save energy”, Arnaud Démare

Everyone then quickly realized that the day’s fugitives were therefore going to go for victory after a hilly second part of the race. Eventually, Stefano Oldani conquered the win in Genoa, in a three-man sprint. The pink jersey group finished nine minutes later with Attila Valter, Tobias Ludvigsson and Ramon Sinkeldam inside it, while the rest of the team came to the finish within the gruppetto nearly twenty minutes behind the winner. “The goal was also to save energy for tomorrow in order to seek another victory”, said Arnaud Démare after the podium. On Thursday, the Frenchman increased his lead to 86 points for the ciclamino jersey, and now hopes to raise his arms for the third time in this Giro tomorrow, in Cuneo. To do so, he will need to cover 150 kilometres but above all get over a second-category climb about one hundred kilometres from the finish.

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