Simon Yates finished safely in the peloton after the rain-soaked finale of stage 12 to Imola, happy to have avoided the splits on the way to the Enzo and Dino Ferrari motor racing track and then resisted a series of attacks on the rolling 15km circuit around the Tre Monti hills.
The Mitchelton-Scott leader finished a relieved 32nd place behind Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe), the winner of the tumultuous stage. Yates still leads Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) by 47 seconds, with Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) third at 1:04.
“I was hoping for a quiet day but every day at the Giro seems to have a little bit of something,” Yates explained post-stage, clearly understanding the ethos of the Corsa Rosa after a week as race leader.
Race director Mauro Vegni included two sprint stages between the Apennines and the Zoncolan to perhaps help the overall contenders recover between the mountain finishes. Yates smiled widely when the Vegni race diagram was put to him.
“It’s hard to say to if you ever recover during a Grand Tour, every day is difficult, there are no easy days here at the Giro,” he said firmly.
“The final circuit was much more difficult than many expected. I was taken aback by how difficult it was, even if the conditions made it more difficult. We had to be on our toes until the final. Fortunately, the team was there to help me.”
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