After a hilly stage through the Apennines on stage 11, the riders of the Giro d’Italia faced the longest stage of the race: the 229km stage 12 from Forlì to Reggio Emilia.

This was one of two stages for the sprinters ahead of the race’s entry into the Alps on Saturday, with a couple of classified climbs early on but a flat second half of the stage including 33km on the A1 motorway.

Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors), holder of the points jersey going into the stage, was probably the favourite to take the win in Reggio Emilia, but would face strong opposition from the likes of André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal), Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott), and Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe).

>>> Five talking points from stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia

Meanwhile the GC contenders will be looking forward to what should be a relaxing day in the saddle ahead of a tough final week in the Alps.

Catch-up with the highlights here, or read the full report from the stage.

The Giro d’Italia continues on Friday with a 167km stage containing nothing but flat roads between Reggio Emilia and Tortona