Bennett wins 12th stage, Yates maintains lead at Giro
IMOLA, ITALY — Sam Bennett of Ireland pulled off a superb final attack to win the 12th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Thursday while Simon Yates remained in the overall lead.
Bennett began his sprint a long way out to storm past Matej Mohoric and Carlos Betancur, and claim his second victory of the race at a wet finish to the 214kilometre route from Osimo to the motorsport circuit of Imola.
“I saw two guys ahead, my team had done so much work for me and I couldn’t let them down. I just went for it,” said Bennett, who rides for Bora-Hansgrohe.
The general classification was unchanged as Yates retained his 47-second advantage over defending champion Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands.
The stage was meant to be a relatively easy one before the race hits the mountains this weekend, but rain and hail in the final 30 kilometres and the one classified climb of the day added to the drama.
Bennett caught everyone by surprise by making his early move, surging into the lead with 400 metres remaining and holding on to become the first Irish cyclist to win two road stages of the Giro.
Another mainly flat stage is scheduled for Friday, a 180-kilometre leg from Ferrara to Nervesa della Battaglia, before the race heats up again with a climb up Monte Zoncolan on Saturday and a gruelling leg through the Dolomite Range on Sunday. The race ends in Rome on May 27.