51.5km to go
All change on the front where Simon Clarke has been replaced on the front by Jhonatan Narváez (Ineos Grenadiers), Mark Padun (Bahrain-McLaren). There are an awful lot of rain jackets on show today which would suggest it is quite nippy out on the road.
54km to go
Simon Clarke, all wrapped up in his arm and leg warmers, has clipped off the front. Can the Aussie go all the way and claim a third individual stage for EF Pro Cycling? Coincidentally, the last two stages won by the team with the duck on their jerseys came in wet weather — Jonathan Caceido on Mount Etna and Ruben Guerreiro last Sunday. Can Clarke make it a hat-trick here today?
56km to go
On what looks like an incredibly slippery descent, Dutchman Etienne van Empel (Vini Zabu-KTM) suffers terrible misfortune and is forced to stop to get a wheel change. Van Empel had been in the breakaway since the start today and had managed to regain contact with the leading group before he was caught out by this mechanical. Horrible conditions and the rain is still teeming down.
63.5km to go
The gap between the peloton and the breakaway has dropped to just 5min on the 9.1km slope of the Madonna di Pugliano which, as you can see, is a climb of two halves. Interesting to note that Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) has shifted up the bunch and got himself onto the wheel of Domenico Pozzovivo. The NTT rider is a marked man today, but having put his entire team to work today it is clear for all to see that he is hoping to try something in this stage. Little wonder then that the wily old shark that is Nibali made that move. The maglia rosa of Joao Almeida has a few Deceuninck-Quick Step team-mates, including James Knox and Pieter Serry alongside him.
Similarly to Nibali who has just one team-mate in the peloton that has now reduced to around 20 riders, Jakob Fuglsang is all alone, riding isolated.
The breakaway's lead is down to 4min 45sec.
70km to go
It is turning into a quite horrible looking day out in Emilia-Romagna, the rain is falling heavier now and it is looking ominously dark. Cesare Benedetti has been dropped by the leading group which now comprises François Bidard (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Manuele Boaro (Astana), Simon Clarke (EF Pro Cycling), Jesper Hansen (Cofidis Solutions Crédits), Jhonatan Narváez (Ineos Grenadiers), Mark Padun (Bahrain-McLaren), Simon Pellaud (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) and Joey Rosskopf (CCC).
72.5km to go
Hello, who's this? Cesare Benedetti managed to bridge over to stage leader Simon Pellaud. A minute or so later Joey Rosskopf joined to make it a leading trio, 6min 19sec ahead of the NTT-led peloton.
75km to go
Having added another nine points to his tally in the mountains classification atop the Perticara, Simon Pellaud rolls off the front of the breakaway. The Swiss is descending at speed on these narrow and twisty roads, having rained earlier there are patches of dampness. NTT, meanwhile, are continuing to set a decent pace on the front of the peloton as they continue to nibble away at the advantage of Pellaud. Down to 6min 7sec now.
80km to go
I don't think Domenico Pozzovivo has had much of a look in over the last week or so in our liveblog, which has probably been a little bit of an oversight on my part. He's one of those riders that you often see mentioned as a possible winner of grand tour, though I've rarely seen any evidence to suggest he may actually bag one. That said, he has finished in the overall top 10 on six occasions — from the previous 19 he has started — but this Giro may represent his best chance yet.
With a weakened field following the departures of Geraint Thomas, Simon Yates and Steven Kruijswijk — coupled with the fact that the starting list was already not the strongest we have ever seen — makes this a very open race. The diminutive Italian climber is riding mob-handed today, other than Victor Campenaerts who is in the breakaway, he has his entire team shepherding him up this gnarly looking Perticara climb. The peloton trails the break by 6min 22sec.
87.5km to go
The breakaway's lead drops a little further to 7min 31sec.
92.5km to go
The breakaway is onto the third categorised climb of the day, the 7.6km long Perticara that has an average gradient of just 5.1 per cent, though there are short parts of it that are very steep. Joey Rosskopf is looking strong and is winding up the pace on the front, causing minor splits in the group. Maximiliano Richeze is the first to pop, while Cesare Benedetti and Victor Campenaerts are struggling.
Further down the road, Ilnur Zakarin (CCC) dropped off the back of the peloton briefly, but managed to claw his way back on. NTT are riding on the front, the suggestion being that Domenico Pozzovivo who started the stage fourth on general classification, 57sec off the pace of race leader Joao Almeida, is teeing up something here today.
100km to go
For what it's worth, I'm surprised to see Maximiliano Richeze in this breakaway. The Argentine national champion is the leadout rider for UAE Team Emirates sprinter Fernando Gaviria so not too sure what he's doing up front on this punchy stage. Either way, he's only one of two riders in the break who has won a stage at the Giro d'Italia before. Richeze, however, he did not get to raise his arms in celebration as he was awarded the wins retrospectively after Alessandro Petacchi was stripped of them following a doping infringement in 2007. The other stage winner here is Cesare Benedetti who took the first and, as yet, only win of his career at last year's race. Coincidentally, that was also during stage 12.
110km to go
The peloton has started to nibble away at the lead the breakaway has, their drop has plummeted to 8min 10sec. With a handful of riders in the breakaway that also have general classification hopefuls back in the bunch, it will be interesting to see if the likes of Manuele Boaro. Victor Campenaerts, Mark Padun are here on behalf of Jakob Fuglsang, Domenico Pozzovivo or Pello Bilbao respectively.
114km to go
The breakaway has crested the Barbotto, with Simon Pellaud adding nine points to his tally in the mountains classification. Topping at at 17 per cent — SEVENTEEN! — riders like Mark Padun and Victor Campenaerts were spotted labouring, almost coming to a standstill.
115km to go
By the way, the highest placed rider on general classification in this 14-man breakaway is Jhonatan Narváez who started the day 43min 44sec behind race leader Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick Step).
As it stands: v.2.0
appears that I forgot to mention how big the gap was between the peloton and the breakaway. Amateur: It is 11 minutes now.
As it stands . . .
Young British rider Matthew Holmes (Lotto-Soudal) was the first rider to go off the front today, but he was soon reined back in before a 12-man group replaced him on the front of the race. A minor shuffling of the pack resulted in that growing to 13 riders — Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Hansgrohe), François Bidard (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Manuele Boaro (Astana), Victor Campenaerts (NTT), Simon Clarke (EF Pro Cycling), Etienne van Empel (Vini Zabu-KTM), Jesper Hansen (Cofidis Solutions Crédits), Jhonatan Narváez (Ineos Grenadiers), Mark Padun (Bahrain-McLaren), Simon Pellaud (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Maximiliano Richeze (UAE Team Emirates), Joey Rosskopf (CCC) and Albert Torres (Movistar) — while Héctor Carretero (Movistar) was trapped in no man's land, that area between the breakaway and the peloton.
Following a huge, er, effort the Spaniard who is racing his second grand tour after making his debut at last year's Giro, bridged over.
Carretero didn't seem able to close the gap, constantly being around 1:30 minutes behind the break. Camera then catches a serious sticky bottle from the Movistar team car and suddenly Carretero has bridged across.. Didn't look good... #Giro pic.twitter.com/psJTFXbYIH— Mikkel Condé v2.0 (@mrconde) October 15, 2020
As you can see from the above footage, the race commissaires may have something to say about the extremely sticky bottle Carretero almost took from his team car. After all that hanging around, it turns out the 25-year-old wasn't even thirsty. Fancy that!
And welcome to our live rolling blog from stage 12 at the Giro d'Italia, the 204km run that will loop inland from Cesenatico, the hometown of the late Marco Pantani, before returning to the start town that hugs the coast of the Adriatic Sea. As you can see from the profile, today's route is a punchy affair featuring five categorised climbs — the Ciola, Barbotto, Perticara, Madonna di Pugliano and San Giovanni in Galilea. None are longer than 9.1km.
Here are the leaders in the four main classifications — those awarded jerseys — the maglia rosa (pink), maglia ciclamino (cyclamen), maglia azzurra (blue) and maglia bianca (white).
Given the length and difficulty of today's stage, it was an early start for the remaining 144 riders in the race who rolled through KMO at 10.18am (BST). As it stands, there is a 14-man breakaway leading.the stage. Our liveblog will get under way in earnest at 12.30pm.