The Colombian sprinted to victory on the Giro's longest stage and holds on to the purple points jersey
Gaviria sprinted with ease to his third stage win ahead of Jakub Marezko (Wilier-Triestina) and Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) to the line at the finish of the Giro d’Italia’s longest stage.
The lead into the finish was a fast one, with Bora doing much of the work as they tried to lead out Bennett so he could add a victory to the two third places he’s already notched up at this Giro.
But Quick-Step were always a presence as they tried to setup Gaviria for his third win in his debut Grand Tour.
Max Richeze was the last rider in front for Gaviria, who looked even more dominant than he has in his previous wins as he surged ahead of the other sprinters to victory.
André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) put in another disappointing performance despite his victory on stage two of the race, finishing eighth in the sprint despite a fine leadout from his Lotto teammates.
Likewise Caleb Ewan disappointed on one of the few remaining sprint stages, particularly after his Orica-Scott teammates did so much work to bring back the break and set things up. The young Australian finished outside of the top-10, 82nd on the stage.
The 229km stage, the longest of the Giro, didn’t provide many surprises with it’s flat profile.
Sergey Firsanov (Gazprom-RusVelo), Marco Marcato (UAE Team Emirates) and Mirco Maestri (Bardiani CSF) got away from the drop of the flag and took a maximum gap of 6-45 to form the day’s main breakaway.
They still had 53 seconds by 20km to go after a fine effort over 200km, with Maestri then going solo with around 15km to go and bravely holding on until 7km remaining.
He was then absorbed by the peloton which was travelling at a very fast rate towards the finish, with Gaviria living up to his favourite tag as he took a third victory at this year’s Giro and cemented his lead in the points jersey.
There was no change in the overall standings as Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) held on to his lead. Britain’s Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) lost 31 seconds however, and looks likely to have an eye on stage wins rather than GC when the race hits the mountains.
The 10tth Giro d’Italia continues on Friday with a very flat route from Reggio Emilia to Tortona over 167km.
Giro d’Italia 2017 stage 12, Forli – Forli (229km)
1. Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors, in 5-18-55
2. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Wilier Triestina
3. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe
4. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb
5. Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step Floors
6. Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data
7. Sacha Modolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
8. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
9. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
10. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) UAE Team Emirates, all same time
General classification after stage 12
1. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb, in 52-41-08
2. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team, at 2-23
3. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo, at 2-38
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ, at 2-40
5. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida, at 2-47
6. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team, at 3-05
7. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors, at 3-56
8. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale, at 3-59
9. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team, at 3-59
10. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin, at 4-17
12. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo, at 6-07
14. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky, at 6-46
16. Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott, at 6-56