Eddie Dunbar will have another crucial day in his Giro d’Italia campaign on Friday, with the mountainous 199-kilometre stage 13 from Borgofranco d’Ivrea to Crans-Montana ending with a tough summit finish. The general classification contenders are sure to slug things out on the final climb, not least because the top 10 are separated by just two minutes and 48 seconds.
Dunbar remains an excellent seventh, two minutes and 32 seconds behind the ongoing race leader Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers). They and the other general classification contenders kept their powder dry on Thursday’s 12th stage to Rivoli, with no changes to the order of those in the top 12 overall.
Instead it was a day for the breakaway, with the stage honours being disputed by a 30-man breakaway group. Germany rider Nico Denz (Bora-hansgrohe) was best, outsprinting Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) and Sebastian Berwick (Israel-Premier Tech) to the line after they gapped the other breakaway riders 90 kilometres from the end of the stage.
“It’s really big for me. I’m super proud. I was not supposed to be in the break. It was up to Patrick Konrad and Bob Jungels,” said Denz. “But Bob said he wasn’t at his best and he preferred to save energy to help Lennard Kämna tomorrow so I had to replace him at the front.
“When I looked around me in the breakaway there were only monsters. Co-operation in the breakaway was very bad, then I found myself at the front on the last climb. Then I knew the finale. I had it in my mind. So I could sprint the way I wanted.”
Dunbar (Jayco AlUla) rolled in with the other general classification riders eight minutes back. They will be more switched on during Friday’s stage, with a major battle likely on the final climb.