Stage 12 of the 2012 Giro d'Italia saw Santa Rosa's Team BMC have their first big stage of the Giro d'Italia since Taylor Phinney's time trial performance on day one, as Ivan Santaromita jumped out in an early breakway and stayed away, racing over the repeated climbs of the stage well in advance of the peloton. With the gap as high as 7 minutes, it became clear that the escapees would make it to the finish line, and it became a contest within the break to see who would take the stage win. In the end, Santaromita didn't have it in him, and the stage win went to Lars Bank, the Dane from the Lotto Belisol Team. Santa Romita finished fifth. Michael Golas had a big day in the break, as he entered the day second in the King of the Mountain competition and managed to be the first man over several climbs, picking up crucial points in the fight for the Maglia Azzure.
The stage wasn't nearly as long as stage 11, but it did feature a number of respectable climbs, and when the breakaway went without any GC heavyweights in it, the peloton was content to let it go. By the time the race was approaching the finish line the gap was still around four minutes, which was just about the distance between the best-placed rider in the breakaway and the overall leader Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha). That left Katusha and any other team with their eye on the overall win pushing the pace with the peloton, looking to cross the line in just enough time to maintain the standings as they were. Someone like Santaromita or Bak is unlikely to make a serious play for the victory, so as long as the leaders don't lose several minutes to them they're content to let them move up the standings. The heavyweights know that everything will be settled in the coming mountain stages, and so their primary goal is just to keep thing steady until then.
They were able to do just that, as Joaquim Rodriguez holds on to the Maglia Rosa, and GC contenders like Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) and Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) are well placed for the coming stages.
The GC Standings after stage 12:
1) Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 51:19:08
2) Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:17
3) Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:00:26
4) Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:32
5) Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:49
6) Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana Pro Team 0:00:52
7) Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team
8) Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:57
Stage 13 looks to be another flat stage building to a sprint win, but this late in a grand tour the riders are tired and anything can happen.