Giro: Bole the top finisher on a rainy stage

On the rainy Stage 12 of Giro d’Italia, Grega Bole managed to stay with strongest until the final hill and finished just outside the top 30. Philippe Gilbert took the victory (BMC Racing)

The initial part of the stage was completely flat and the final kilometers were undulating, so the profile favored attackers. There were many riders who wanted to get in the break early on and because of that the pace was very high.  It took a long time to form the leading group. It was established 70 kilometers into the stage and it included 5 riders – Patrick Gretsch, Davide Appollonio, Kenny Elissonde, Enrico Barbin and Nick Van der Lijke. The journey ahead of the pack didn’t last too long. The break never gained more than 2 minutes and it got caught with 57 kilometers to go, when the terrain got more hilly.

On a very steep cat.3 climb to Crosara, Maciej Paterski lost contact with the leading group, but Grega Bole was able to remain in the main, 40-people bunch. Slovenian stayed with the strongest despite dangerous, twisting and slippery descents.

In the finale Franco Pellizotti and Tanel Kangert made a brave move. They created 30-second gap, but were reeled in in the last kilometer, on the short, but steep ascent which led to the finish. Grega Bole kicked off the sprint well positioned, but the gradient of 11% was just too much for the sprinter. Eventually he finished 31st. Philippe Gilbert, one-day classic specialist powered to win the stage, ahead of maglia rosa wearer, Alberto Contador.