Ireland’s Eddie Dunbar claimed a highly impressive third place finish on Stage 12 of the Giro D’Italia.

In one of the best rides of his career so far, Dunbar was in the leading pack throughout and kept pace with Cesare Benedetti and Damiano Caruso at the end of a punishing mountain run.

The 22-year-old Cork man showed experience beyond his years, attacking at the right time and had he been able to avoid being boxed in behind Benedetti and Caruso in the closing stages, it could have even been better for him.

Dunbar, making his Grand Tour debut having been thrust into the team at late notice when Egan Bernal broke his collarbone in training, was disappointed with third and blamed a lack of experience.

"I felt like I was one of the strongest here," the 22-year-old told Eurosport. "I knew I wasn't the quickest but certainly one of the strongest. I gambled in the finish.

"With Brambilla and Eros being Italian I knew they'd be a bit more keen than me to get to the finish so I gambled on that and got caught by the guys behind. That's bike racing, you live and learn."

Slovenian Jan Polanc seized the leader's pink jersey as he finished 25 seconds behind 31-year-old Italian Benedetti.

Benedetti, riding for Bora Hansgrohe, had been dropped on the category one Montoso climb around 35km from home but worked his way back before sprinting to the biggest win of his career.

Polanc then had a long wait to discover how much time the main bunch pre-stage leader Valerio Conte and favourite Primoz Roglic had lost.

He will move on to stage 13 with a four minute seven seconds lead over Roglic with Conti another 44 seconds in arrears.