Giro hat-trick for Gaviria as Dumoulin maintains lead

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Fernando Gaviria? sprinted to a third Giro d'Italia stage victory and Tom Dumoulin maintained his overall lead over Nairo Quintana on Thursday.

Gaviria already had two stage victories in the bag in the 2017 Giro and the Colombian's Quick-Step Floors team-mates paved the way for him to complete a hat-trick in the longest stage of the race in a time of five hours, 18 minutes and 55 seconds.

The 22-year-old extended his lead in the points classification with a rapid late burst on stage 12, ensuring Jakub Mareczko and Sam Bennett had to settle for second and third respectively.

Gaviria crashed only three kilometres into the time trial two days earlier, but there was no stopping him at the end of a 229km route from Forli to Reggio Emilia.

Dumoulin negotiated a comfortable stage that included just two categorised ascents and still holds a lead of two minutes and 23 seconds over Quintana (Movistar) after crossing the line six seconds after Gaviria?.

Sergey Firsanov and Marco Marcato made an early break and were joined by Mirco Maestri, who was the last of the trio to be reeled in with 3.6km to go. Eugert Zhupa hit the front and was also unable to get away.

There was concern for Quick-Step when Maximiliano Richeze was dropped earlier, but he finished fifth as the team were able to set Gaviria up for another stage win.

 

GOOD DAY/BAD DAY

Following a bad day on Tuesday, Gaviria was back on top of the podium after leaving enough in the tank to outpace his rivals.

Gaviria's latest success moved him level with compatriot Quintana on three Giro stage wins.

Dumoulin was untroubled, as expected given the nature of the stage, ensuring he remains the man to catch.

The maglia rosa holder said: "It was an easy day for me and the team, so that was good. It was actually faster than it looked, but still we didn't have to work and it was a good day."

STAGE RESULTS

1. Fernando Gaviria? (Quick-Step Floors) 5:18:55
2. Jakub Mareczko (Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia)
3. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) 
4. Phil Bauhaus (Team Sunweb) 
5. Maximiliano Richeze (Quick-Step Floors)

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) 52:41.08
2. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +2:23
3. Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) +2:38
4. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) +2:40
5. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) +2:47

POINTS CLASSIFICATION

1. Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) 247
2. Jasper Stuyven (Trek Segafredo) 167
3. Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) 137

KING OF THE MOUNTAINS

1. Omar Fraile (Dimension Data) 49
2. Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) 46
3. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 35

UP NEXT...

A flat 167km ride from Reggio Emilia to Tortona is to come on Friday, with another sprint finish in prospect.

Once again there is not expected to be any significant developments in the battle for the pink jersey.