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Alaphilippe wins Giro 12th stage, Pogacar holds race lead

Team Soudal-Quick Step's French rider Julian Alaphilippe. Photo: Luca Bettini/AFP

Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe won the 12th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Thursday after a 126km breakaway as Slovenian Tadej Pogacar kept the race lead.

The former double world champion shook off Italian breakaway companion Mirco Maestri on the last climb of the day on the 193km run north to Fano along the Adriatic Coast.

“Ah, that feels good!” said Alaphilippe, who is competing in his first Giro, after his first victory in almost a year.

The 31-year-old Soudal-Quick Step rider completed the set of stage wins on the three Grand Tours — France, Italy and Spain.

After a first attack, 138 kilometres from the line, Alaphilippe and Maestri took off together.

The two riders worked together perfectly to keep several groups of pursuers at bay in a hilly stage ideal for breakaways. 

Alaphilippe finally left behind his companion 11.5 km from the finish in the last sharp climb  and then resisted the pursuit from Colombian Jhonatan Narvaez and the Belgian Quinten Hermans. 

Pogacar held onto the leader’s pink jersey as the favourites arrived over five minutes after the winner.

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