With the rain bouncing off the road and clouds covering the sky, Rosskopf pushed on solo in the losing kilometers of the stage, riding his own pace behind the ultimately successful three-rider move that went off the front of the initial breakaway approaching the 50-kilometer to go mark.
Earlier in the day Rosskopf could be soon setting a hard tempo, leading the initial 14-rider breakaway, that had to fight hard at the beginning to go clear, and forcing gaps to open up in the second of the lumpy 204-kilometer stage, which features almost 3700 meters of climbing.
As Rosskopf produced another strong breakaway performance, his teammates were locked in their own tough race as the General Classification contenders and their teams starting to pile on the pressure in the peloton, resulting in rider after rider losing contact in only a small maglia rosa group remained.
The cold and wet weather conditions only increased the difficulty of the challenging kilometers that still lay ahead in the run into the finish with Ilnur Zakarin, who started the day 12th overall, one of those who lost time, coming across the line in a group over ten minutes behind the race leader alongside Kamil Małecki, Víctor de la Parte and Attila Valter.
Quotes From the Finish Line
“It was definitely a tough day out there today. Compared to the breakaway on stage eight, the course, the riders in the group and the way we raced today made today five times harder. Luckily my legs were better and I played the day as best I could but it definitely got a little cold and the legs sort of froze up for half an hour or so. When I pushing on the front of the breakaway I definitely didn’t feel like I was dragging any of the guys around. When the gradient of the road is 15 percent I don’t think you lose much by being on the front and for me, it’s a lot easier to do my own pace and choose to do 450 watts than being forced to do it on someone’s wheel. I was going for it today and honestly, I’m just really happy to be at the finish because it was pretty brutal. After the three guys went, the wind was gone and I was just trying to keep going to get something out of the day and stay motivated for a top-five, top-ten finish, going all in.”
Stage 12: Cesenatico > Cesenatico (204km)
Top 3: 1. Johnatan Narváez (INEOS Grenadiers) 2. Mark Padun (Bahrain – McLaren) 3. Simon Clarke (EF Pro Cycling)
CCC Team Top 3: 4. Joey Rosskopf 41. Kamil Małecki 43. Víctor de la Parte