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Giro d'Italia

Giro d’Italia stage 13: Arnaud Démare wins tight bunch sprint over Phil Bauhaus, Mark Cavendish

It was a real tug-of-war between the sprinters and the breakaway in the 2022 Giro's last chance for a mass gallop.

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Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) won stage 13 at the Giro d’Italia on Friday in what was the last chance for the fast finishers in this year’s race.

An early break pulled clear on the day’s major hurdle in the front half of the 150km stage from San Remo to Cuneo, and it was a tug-of-war to bring back the four leading riders. The catch was barely made in the closing kilometer to set up the final sprint finale of the 2022 Giro.

Démare fended off a messy sprint to win for the third time this Giro. Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) was second, and Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) was third.

The day’s big story was the departure of pink jersey favorite Romain Bardet (Team DSM), who pulled out early with a bad stomach. The Frenchman emerged as one of the top candidates for overall victory, but succumbed to health issues.

Also read: Romain Bardet abandons the Giro d’Italia 

Overnight leader Juanpe López (Trek-Segafredo) finished safely in the front group to carry pink into Saturday’s potentially explosive stage that will put his run in the maglia rosa in danger.

The chasing GC group split with about 30km to go under pressure from the desperately chasing sprint teams, but López rode safely at the front to defend pink.

Bardet out, big break tries to defy bunch

Bardet waved goodbye to the 2022 Giro. (Photo: LUCA BETTINI/AFP via Getty Images)

The 13th stage ran 150km from the Mediterranean coastal city of San Remo to Cuneo along the edge of the Italian Alps.

One of the shortest stages in this year’s Giro, it was the last chance for the sprinters of this Giro route. With the final week stacked up with steep mountain stages and the race ending with a time trial, sprinters wanted one last chance before a week of suffering (or leaving early).

The Cat. 3 Colle di Nava, however, served up some terrain for a breakaway. Like most days, it was a dogfight to get into the move.

Four riders finally pulled clear: Pascal Eenkhoorn (Jumbo-Visma), Mirco Maestri (Eolo-Kometa), Julius van den Berg (EF Education-EasyPost), and Nicolas Prodhomme (Ag2r-Citroën).

Early in the stage, Bardet was forced to stop the Giro after suffering from stomach problems. The French star rose to the top of the crop up Blockhaus last weekend but stepped off the bike to put an end to his promising Giro campaign.

Coming at the sharp end of the second week, it was no guarantee that the break would not be neutralized. The gap grew north of six minutes, but the sprinter teams put legs on the front as soon as the peloton crested the day’s main climb.

The gap was down to about 4 minutes with 40km, and the race was on. The chase ramped up so much there was a split in the main GC group as nearly two weeks of racing started to show its wear and tear.

That split seemed to take the steam out of the chase, and the gap grew from back to two and a half minutes with 20km to go. It was a high-wire act between the break and the bunch.

There were no less than 10 roundabouts in the closing 10km, giving the break a slight advantage on the more technical terrain. The gap was under 1 minute with 9km to go, and down to 40 seconds with 6km to go.

The group held on until under the red kite.

The pack rides near the coastal city of Imperia during the 13th stage of the Giro d’Italia. (Photo by Luca Bettini / AFP) (Photo by LUCA BETTINI/AFP via Getty Images)

Tomorrow’s stage: Anything could happen

The 2022 Giro continues Saturday with the 147km 14th stage from Santena to Torino. The up-and-down profile features five rated climbs and hits another unrated climb late in what could be a very explosive stage.

With the GC still tightly wound and a big mountain stage looming Sunday, the GC riders might keep the powder dry at least until the closing kilometers, opening up the door for another break to challenge for the win.

Results will be available once stage has completed.

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