Hat-trick Gaviria at Giro d’Italia
Launched by a brilliant Maximiliano Richeze, the 22-year-old became the first Colombian to collect three stage wins at a single edition of a Grand Tour.
Fernando Gaviria continued his fantastic Giro d'Italia debut on Thursday afternoon, when he roared first over the finish line in Reggio Emilia, after a tremendous job of Maximiliano Richeze, who provided a perfect lead-out despite a flat tire in the last 15 kilometers which forced him to chase hard the frantic peloton who was heading to the finish with 55 km/h.
Quick-Step Floors' Gaviria – first rider in six years to score three stage victories at his maiden Grand Tour – came out of his teammate's wheel with 150 meters to go and powered to the line with remarkable ease, beating Jakub Mareczko (Wilier-Triestina) and Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe). The stage 12 dominant win helped the Colombian extend his already comfortable advantage to 80 points in the maglia ciclamino classification, which he leads since last week.
"I was a bit worried when Max punctured, because the finish was nearing and the bunch was going really fast. Fortunately, he came back and I was relieved, because Max is very important for me. I want to say a big thanks to him and to the entire team, they were wonderful today and I couldn't have asked for more", said Fernando after making history in Reggio Emilia, which returned to the Corsa Rosa after 16 years.
Sardinia, Sicily and now mainland Italy – the 22-year-old Colombian has left an indelible mark on the 100th Giro d'Italia, a race which he wants to complete, despite a brutal third week – with Mortirolo and Stelvio on the menu – looming on the horizon.
"I would have never imagined such a run on my Grand Tour debut. I was hoping to get a stage win, but to have three so far is beyond any expectations. It's been a tough race so far, but I feel good and that's important. I already said it and will repeat it, I want to go all the way to Milan, not only to win the maglia ciclamino, but also to repay Bob as much as I can for his help in these two weeks", concluded Gaviria after Quick-Step Floors' 28th victory of the season.
Bob Jungels – seventh in the general classification – concluded the race's longest day (229 kilometers) in the peloton and will start stage 13, which will give the sprinters one last opportunity to fight for glory, in the white jersey.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele