Slovenian cyclist Primož Roglič brought the pink jersey safely to the finish line of the 21st stage and won the Giro d'Italia.
Rome – Slovenian cyclist Primož Roglič brought the pink jersey safely to the finish line of the 21st stage and won the Giro d'Italia for the first time in his career. The last stage victory of the 106th edition of the three-week Italian race was won in Rome after 126 km by Briton Mark Cavendish, who will end his career after the season.
Thirty-three-year-old Roglič wore the pink jersey of the leading competitor for the first time at this year's Giro after Saturday's mountain time trial. In it, despite the fallen chain, he won by 40 seconds ahead of the previous leader Geraint Thomas and surpassed his British opponent in the overall standings by 14 seconds. The last day of the big races is traditionally fought only for the stage victory.
The fourteen-second difference between the best two riders at the Giro is the smallest since 1974, when Eddy Merckx won by 12 seconds ahead of Gianbattista Baronchelli. Portuguese Joao Almeida finished third this year with a distance of 1:15 minutes.
Roglič, leader of the Jumbo-Visma team, claimed his fourth Grand Tour triumph after winning the Vuelta in 2019-2021. At the Giro, the former ski jumper's best finish so far in 2019 was third, and this year he became his first Slovenian winner.
“I'm trying to enjoy all the feelings, everything that happened yesterday. It's always nice to win. Moreover, to celebrate it in this amazing city, with all these amazing buildings. It's wonderful,” said Roglič, who was presented with the winning trophy by Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
The final stage, a large part of which led through the center of Rome past ancient monuments, had a fairytale ending for Cavendish. The former world champion announced on Monday that he would retire this year and today, seven days after his 38th birthday, in front of the Coliseum, he became the oldest stage winner in the race's history.
“It's hard to imagine a better end to a career in Italy than winning the Giro in Rome. It's perfect,” Cavendish said. His winning spurt was surprisingly helped by Thomas, his former teammate. “As a joke, I said, 'Would you like to start it for me?'. And he just yelled, 'Cave', and he just started it. He's been one of my closest friends for the last 25 years, he's an amazing person,” Cavendish said in tribute to his one-year-younger compatriot, who narrowly missed the overall triumph at the Giro.
At the Giro, Cavendish claimed his 17th triumph and with his 54th win over the Grand Tour secured third place in the all-time tables behind Merckx (63) and the Italian Mario Cipollini (57). At the same time, the native of the Isle of Man achieved his 162nd professional victory and caught up with the second Belgian Rik van Looy. The unbeatable Merckx has 275 triumphs.
Karel Vacek finished the Giro in 84th place, who flashed second place in the seventh stage on his first Grand Tour. The twenty-two-year-old native of Prague arrived in Rome as the only one from the original trio of Czechs. After the 10th stage, Jan Hirt and Josef Černý had to retire due to the coronavirus, a few days after the race ended for the same reason for their Soudal-Quick Step team leader Remco Evenepoel. According to paper assumptions, the Belgian world champion was supposed to be Roglič's main opponent in the fight for the overall championship, and the Giro had to give up first place due to covid-19.
Cycling race Giro d'Italia – final 21st stage (Rome – Rome , 126 km):
1. Cavendish (Brit./Astana Qazaqstan) 2:48:26, 2. Kirsch (Luc./Trek-Segafredo), 3. Fiorelli (It./Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizané), 4. Dainese (It./DSM ), 5. Krieger (German/Alpecin-Deceuninck), 6. Stewart (Brit./Groupama-FDJ), …100. K. Vacek (CZ/Corratec-Selle Italia) all same time.
Final ranking: 1. Roglič (Slovenia/Jumbo-Visma) 85:29:02, 2. Thomas (Brit./Ineos Grenadiers) -14, 3. Almeida (Portug./SAE Team Emirates) -1:15, 4. Caruso (It. /Bahrain Victorious) -4:40, 5. Pinot (Fr./Groupama-FDJ) -5:43, 6. Arensman (Netherlands/Ineos Grenadiers) -6:05, …84. K. Vacek -3:42:40.
Score competition: 1. Milan (It./Bahrain Victorious) 217, 2. Gee (Kan./Israel-Premier Tech) 164, 3. Matthews (Austr./Jayco-AlUla) 101, …47. K. Vacek 18.
Pitching competition: 1. Pinot 237, 2. Gee 200, 3. Healy (Ir./EF Education-EasyPost) 164, …17. K. Vacek 36.
Young riders: 1. Almeida 85:30:17, 2. Arensman -4:50, 3. Leknessund (Nor./DSM) -6:16, …26. K. Vacek -3:41:25.
Teams: 1. Bahrain Victorious 256:21:18, 2. Ineos Grenadiers -16:22, 3. Jumbo-Visma -30:40.