Benedetti wins Giro d'Italia 12th stage, Polanc takes pink jersey

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Pinerolo (Italy) (AFP)

Italy's Cesare Benedetti won Thursday's 12th stage of the Giro d'Italia at Pinerolo in the Italian Alps ahead of compatriot Damiano Caruso. Slovenian Jan Polanc took the overall lead.

It was the first win for 31-year-old Bora rider Benedetti who led a long break-away group after the 156km run from Cuneo.

Polanc, also among the leading group, took the leader's pink jersey from UAE Emirates teammate Valerio Conti of Italy.

It was the third stage win for Benedetti's Bora team after Germany's Pascal Ackermann's two sprint wins.

Friday's 13th high-mountain stage covers 196km and features three difficult summits -- Colle del Lys, Pian del Lupo and the final Colle del Nivolet climb, leading to Lago Serru, on a route that includes gradients of up to 15 precent.