May 18 (Reuters) - Colombian Fernando Gaviria claimed a hat- trick of victories in this year's Giro d'Italia when he won the 229-km 12th stage on Thursday.
The Quick Step-Floors rider, back on his favourite terrain after a day in the mountains on Wednesday, outsprinted Italian Jakub Mareczko (Wilier Triestine) and Ireland's Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) after a perfect leadout from his team mates.
Gaviria, who increased his lead in the points classification, also won the third and fifth stages.
Dutchman Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) retained the overall leader's pink jersey after spending a comfortable day in the peloton.
Reporting by Julien Pretot, editing by Ed Osmond