After a fantastic team effort, Team Sunweb successfully defended Tom Dumoulin’s Maglia Rosa at stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia.
At 229 kilometres in length, Team Sunweb set out for the Giro’s longest day at stage 12. The day featured two categorised ascents and with the remainder of the parcours being relatively flat, it was set to be a fast finale. The penultimate opportunity for the sprinters meant that Team Sunweb could spend the day inside the bunch protecting their Maglia Rosa, whilst other sprint teams maintained control over the breakaways advantage. The last of the breakaway riders were caught with seven kilometres to go and Tom and the team remained positioned well towards the head of the bunch, whilst sprint trains formed ahead of them. Once inside the final three kilometres and Tom was safe, Phil Bauhaus was able to move the focus to his sprint. In the final kick to the finish, the team’s German Grand Tour debutant Phil Bauhaus powered through to an impressive 4th place.
After the stage Tom said: “Today was a pretty relaxed stage so it was a good day. There was a tailwind in the final which made it really fast, but the team had positioned me well to stay out of any trouble. Tomorrow is another sprint day so we aim to keep safe again and look forward to the mountain stages coming up at the weekend.”
Phil added: “At the beginning of the race I didn’t feel great but luckily my legs came back for the final. It was a good day protecting Tom, and I’m really pleased to take another good result in the sprint. I feel like I am getting closer and closer to the winners in the sprints.”
Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek said: “We didn’t have to work so much today as we knew the sprinters teams would take control. The team did a great job of protecting Tom all day, there was a section where potential splits could have formed as a result of crosswinds but everybody stayed alert, focused and in position. Once we knew that Tom was safe, Phil was able to do a really good sprint and took fourth on the stage.”