This is a day that will be greeted with no small amount of relish by the riders. For the sprinters there is so little that can go wrong here, it is a stage of the Giro d’Italia that is practically gift wrapped for them. For everyone else it is a chance to breathe.
Stage 12: Noale – Bibione. 168km
Noale to Bibione is a trek of 168km which takes the field not too far away from the Croatian border. The greatest thing about the stage is that squint and you might just see the route profile raise by the most miniscule of amounts at just around halfway into the stage. It is a rest day without being a rest day for so many riders who are passed the halfway mark and can feel that they have 12 stages of hard racing already packed into their legs.
The sprinters though will be on high alert. While stage 11 will present the question ‘can they win?’ to us, stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia will present the question ‘how can they lose?’ It is everything a sprinter could want. Flat, flat and more flat from start to finish. The stage will finish with a 7.6km circuit that will be tackled once before the dash for the line.
Matteo Pelucchi of IAM Cyclnig would have been an interesting one to watch. He is one of the most promising Italian sprinters never to have won a stage of the Giro d’Italia. He came close in his debut outing in 2015 when he took second place in stage 6 behind Andre Greipel who enjoyed the lead out of a certain Greg Henderson. Pelucchi is yet to take a win in the 2016 season, but he has been there and there abouts in Etoile de Bessèges, Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali, Circuit Cycliste Sarthe and the Tour of Croatia. But he has yet to be up there in a major World Tour event so far this season.
But there can be nothing to inspire an Italian to victory like getting a chance in his home grand tour! Alas for him and the likes of Elia Viviani the chance is not there as they have both been forced out of the race this year, but look out for Giacomo Nizzolo of Trek-Segafredo.