Ben­nett wins 12th stage, Yates main­tains lead at Giro

The Standard (St. Catharines) - - Sports -

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.

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