NTT Pro Cycling’s Domenico Pozzovivo retained fourth place overall following stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia on a wet, tricky day that started and finished in Cesenatico.
A complete team performance saw team manager Bjarne Riis declare himself delighted with the effort, even if the bad weather ultimately put paid to the team’s hopes of looking to make any possible time gains.
Victor Campenaerts was one of a large group in the breakaway before later on being able to drop back and assist Pozzovivo in the latter stages on the technical parcours.
The stage was won by Jhonatan Narvaez, who was part of the original breakaway, with fellow escapees Mark Padun second and Simon Clarke third respectively.
Excellent performances from every member of the squad saw Pozzovivo finish in the maglia rosa group in 16th position while still fourth on the general classification, 57 seconds behind race leader Joao Almeida (DQS).
I’m super proud, and super happy. I’ve never seen the team ride like this before and that what was deep in my mind this morning, actually over the last few days.
I wanted to test the team, to push them and to show what they could do today; I wanted them to take control of the race. Yesterday after the stage I went to see the parcours, the last 110km of the stage and I saw that it was very difficult: technical and tricky and some very tough climbs.
I actually thought that it was a lot harder than expected so what I wanted us to do is to really go out there and take control as maybe the weather might be bad, wet, so more dangerous. We felt it would be better to take control, be in the front and dominate the race, with the focus as much on Domenico as possible.
It was a hard day – featuring lot of rain and cold, as well as wind. As a team I think that we did a good a job. We were able to cause difficulties for a lot of riders in the peloton, while trying to stay safe in the 3km downhill on a very tricky parcours.
There was no change in the GC in the end but it was excellent for the morale of our squad for the upcoming stages.
It was great to take the race on today, we wanted to try and shake it up and I think we did that. It was nice to see the boys on the front and we showed out strength.
It was a shame that perhaps it wasn’t a mountain top itself to try and allow Pozzo to get away but I think that we can be proud that we tried to make the race and test the others. That’s the point of racing so we enjoyed the day and hopefully you all enjoyed watching it.