Cycling: Lars Ytting Bak catapults himself to first Grand Tour win in the Giro d’Italia

 

Three-time Danish time trial champion Lars Ytting Bak perfectly executed a final attack to win stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia this afternoon.

With less than two kilometres to the finish, the team Lotto-Belisol rider catapulted himself from the back of a seven-rider breakaway group, claiming his first ever win in a Grand Tour.

As the leaders spent the closing kilometres trying to outwit one another, it was Bak that left the increasingly disorganised group for dead. Within seconds he had build up speed and opened a gap that simply couldn’t be closed.

Approaching the line, Bak checked behind him before patting his chest, zipping his jersey and swiping an index finger across his team logo. As he crossed the line he blew kisses to the air.

Bak rode at the front of the race for 110 kilometres of the 155km stage, finishing over three and a half minutes ahead of the main peloton. Team Liquigas, keen to keep team leader Ivan Basso in the overall race, lead much of the chase.

But the peloton proved largely unwilling to reel in the stage’s inevitable break-away. It was a far cry from Team Sky’s effective management of Bak’s ill-fated solo attempt in stage two, which Cavendish went on to win.

Despite losing significant time to today’s leaders, Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez retains the pink jersey for a third day. Tomorrow the riders face another short but hilly day ahead of the Alps, where the overall race is likely to be decided.

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