TORTONA, Italy — Colombian rider Fernando Gaviria sprinted to his fourth stage victory at the Giro d’Italia on Friday in his Grand Tour debut.
Gaviria came from the back and around the right side of the sprinters to edge Sam Bennett and win the 13th stage. Jasper Stuyven was third at the end of the completely flat 167-kilometre (104-mile) route from Reggio Emilia to Tortona.
"It’s been a different sprint today and a difficult sprint indeed but thanks to my team I managed to go back up and win one more stage," said the 22-year-old Gaviria, who rides for Quick-Step Floors. "I’m now the Colombian with most stage victories at the Giro but it doesn’t mean much. To me it means that I came to the Giro well prepared."
Tom Dumoulin, who rides for Team Sunweb, retained the pink jersey. The Dutch rider’s lead remained 2 minutes, 23 seconds ahead of 2014 winner Nairo Quintana and 2:38 ahead of Bauke Mollema.
"The wind made me nervous sometimes," Dumoulin said. "For most of the day it was side wind. In the finale it was more side head wind. But I was very well protected by the team so it was another good day for us."
Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas abandoned the race before the stage. The Welshman, who spent the last year preparing for the Giro, was still suffering from the effects of a crash in the ninth stage and had lost time in the last two days.
Friday’s stage was the last one for the sprinters. Many of them are expected to leave the race, although Gaviria has said he will continue for as long as possible.
Saturday’s 14th stage is a 131-kilometre (81-mile) route from Castellania and is mainly flat until the final steep climb up to Oropa.
"I think Oropa is a climb that suits me well so I hope to be in the Maglia Rosa again on Sunday," Dumoulin added.
The 100th Giro ends in Milan on May 28.