Fernando Gaviria continued his sensational form at the Giro d'Italia on Friday, winning his second stage in succession and fourth in all as Tom Dumoulin comfortably retained his healthy general classification lead.
A flat 13th-stage route from Reggio Emilia to Tortona was always likely to conclude with a bunch sprint and Gaviria again proved the class of the field.
The 22-year-old Quick-Step Floors rider beat Bora-Hansgrohe's Sam Bennett into second place, with Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) taking third.
Gaviria is only the second man this century to claim four stage wins at a Giro before his 23rd birthday, following in the footsteps of Damiano Cunego in 2004.
Gaviria is the only rider in this year’s peloton with 4 stage wins in one Giro (Bennati 3 in 2008 and Greipel 3 in 2016 are his best rivals) pic.twitter.com/puelHZEnuL— Giro d'Italia (@giroditalia) May 19, 2017
4 stage wins at 22 years of age at the Giro. in this century only two riders managed it: Damiano Cunego in 2004 and Fernando Gaviria in 2017 pic.twitter.com/njO3yYdo8p— Giro d'Italia (@giroditalia) May 19, 2017
All of the GC contenders predictably posted the same time within the peloton, meaning Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) remains two minutes and 23 seconds ahead of nearest rival Nairo Quintana (Movistar).
Vincenzo Albanese (Bardiani-CSF), Pavel Brutt (Gazprom-Rusvelo) and Matej Mohoric (UAE Team Emirates) broke away early in the stage, but the trio were reeled in long before the finish.
Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia rider Filippo Pozzato briefly attacked with four kilometres to go, only to drop back into the peloton almost immediately.
Bennett then looked to have made a decisive move inside the final kilometre, yet Gaviria again showcased his sprinting prowess with a stunning late burst.
GOOD DAY / BAD DAY
Gaviria obviously enjoyed himself yet again, but Dumoulin will surely have welcomed a stress-free stage in which he was never likely to see his lead come under threat.
Team Sky's Geraint Thomas withdrew from the race ahead of Friday's stage, having been hurt in a heavy crash last weekend.
Stefano Pirazzi and Nicola Ruffoni, meanwhile, face the sack from Bardiani-CSF. The Italian duo were withdrawn by their team on the eve of the tour after providing adverse analytical findings and Bardiani confirmed on Friday that their B samples had come back positive.
1. Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) 3:47:45
2. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe)
3. Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo)
4. Roberto Ferrari (UAE Team Emirates)
5. Ryan Gibbons (Team Dimension Data)
1. Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) 56:28.53
2. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +2:23
3. Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) +2:38
4. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) +2:40
5. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) +2:47
1. Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) 315
2. Jasper Stuyven (Trek Segafredo) 192
3. Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) 144
KING OF THE MOUNTAINS
1. Omar Fraile (Dimension Data) 49
2. Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) 46
3. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 35
UP NEXT ...
Saturday's 14th stage - from Castellania to Oropa - is predominantly flat, but finishes with a gruelling climb.
|Mourinho wants Rooney stay and urges Woodward to start working on transfers|
|Poets don´t win titles – Mourinho defiant after Ajax criticise Manchester United approach|
|Bosz unimpressed by Manchester United: Ajax did not have to lose to this team|
|Europa League triumph more important than sport, says Manchester United great Beckham|
|Morgan cautious over Stokes injury|
|Klaassen: United just waited and kicked it long|
|Nobody can talk - Pogba feels Manchester United silenced critics|
|Manchester United´s Europa League triumph is the ultimate victory for defiance|
|Morgan guides England to promising victory over South Africa|
|Player ratings: Ajax 0 Manchester United 2|
|Manchester City send classy tribute to Europa League winners Manchester United|
|Ajax 0 Manchester United 2: Pogba and Mkhitaryan seal emotional Europa League triumph|
|Aussies rule in Strasbourg|
|Monaco sign Anderlecht wonderkid Youri Tielemans|
|Bangladesh hold nerve to beat New Zealand|
|Woods on back surgery: I haven´t felt this good in years|
|Ziganda appointed as new Athletic Bilbao coach|
|Ajax starting XI against Manchester United youngest ever in major European final|
|Wawrinka benefits from Silva retirement in Geneva|
|Wenger uncertainty no excuse, says Mertesacker|
|Elias stuns Del Potro in Lyon|
|Pique calls for video referees in Spain to boost LaLiga standards|
|CAF Champions League Review: Mamelodi Sundowns see off Vita Club|
|Kerber excited by tough Paris test|
|Terry ´couldn´t care less´ over Chelsea farewell criticism|
|Rolland battles to stage 17 Giro victory|
|Victor Valdes to leave Middlesbrough|
|Kohli looking to replicate Test success at Champions Trophy|
|Eintracht Frankfurt won´t sign Varela after United loanee gets tattoo|
|AFC Champions League Review: Hulk stars as Shanghai SIPG beat Jiangsu Suning|
|Goretzka: Bayern rumours are false|
|Valverde ´cannot confirm´ Barcelona talks but admits to interest from other clubs|
|Like trying to ride your bike in the kitchen - Felipe Massa´s unique take on Monaco GP|
|Button gave dogs casting vote on F1 return|
|French Open decision day looms for Kvitova|
|Atsu pens four-year Newcastle deal|
|Chelsea cancel victory parade after Manchester terror attack|
|F1 Raceweek: Hamilton prays for rain, Button makes McLaren return - Monaco GP in numbers|
|Messi loses appeal against 21-month prison sentence|
|Sydney FC 0 Liverpool 3: Gerrard and Carragher return in Reds cruise|
|Uncapped Dollman earns Wales call|
|Piatti completes permanent Espanyol switch|
|Final tough for homegrown United players after Manchester attack - Neville|
|Torn ankle ligament leaves Halep 50-50 for Roland Garros|
|Ferguson´s 26-year Man Utd reign unmatchable - Wenger|
|Vidal back in Barcelona training|
|South Africa the perfect preparation for England - Root|
|Sanchez future completely Arsenal´s decision - Wenger|
|Lisicki excited for Mallorca return|
|Wenger confident Sanchez will be fit for FA Cup final as Gabriel is ruled out|
|Wenger doesn´t know if FA Cup final is his last game at Arsenal|
|She has served her suspension - Rogers Cup happy to hand Sharapova a wildcard|
|Pique: I have spoken to Carvajal about Real Madrid chant|
|Australia coach Cheika hails retiring Wallaby Mumm|
|Ranieri ´stimulated´ to return amid Crystal Palace and Watford rumours|
|Dele Alli: Tottenham do not need to spend if we keep stars|
|Eriksson: Terry won´t have a problem finding new club after Chelsea exit|
|Monaco? Ferrari can win every race - Andretti|
|Cubs top Giants behind Lester´s complete game, Schwarber´s career-long HR|
|Mayweather v McGregor one of the biggest boxing mis-matches – Leonard|
|Stanley Cup playoffs: Senators force game seven against Penguins|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Lanus advance to last 16 as Chapecoense are docked points|
|Irving lead Cavs comeback against Celtics|
|Celtics star Thomas contemplating surgery for injured hip|
|Australian Cricketers Association to control players´ image rights|
|Montpellier appoint Der Zakaria as coach|
|Madrid boss Zidane will be next France coach, says Leboeuf|
|LeBron James ´focused on the present´ after awful game three|
|Goodell: Brady wasn´t diagnosed with concussion last season|
|NFL moves Super Bowl 55 to Tampa after Los Angeles stadium delays|