Bora-Hansgrohe rider Jai Hindley didn’t let the memory of his 2020 mishap get the best of him as he cruised to an “incredible” victory
Photos by Jennifer Lorenzini/Reuters
Verona, Italy (Reuters) – Bora–Hansgrohe rider Jai Hindley became the first Australian winner of the Giro d’Italia on Sunday after safely coming through the final stage, a 17.1-kilometee time trial around Verona, to stay ahead of Ecuadorian challenger Richard Carapaz.
A powerful finish to Saturday’s final mountainous Giro stage gave Hindley a commanding lead over Carapaz in the general classification, meaning he just had to avoid disaster in Verona to claim his first Grand Tour title, which he did with ease.
Hindley had reason to be cautious going into Sunday’s finale. In 2020, the Australian lost a Giro title that was in his hands to Tao Geoghegan Hart in the Milan time trial—the Briton pulling back 39 seconds in the final 15.7-kilometer stage.
However, this time Hindley’s efforts in the final kilometers on Saturday left Carapaz for dead, after he had gone into the 20th stage behind the Ecuadorian in the general classification, and he held a significant 1:25 overall advantage ahead of the time trial.
Carapaz, who had looked primed to add to his 2019 title with another Giro crown before Hindley’s Saturday turnaround, went all out to spring a surprise, and was faster in Verona, coming 10th on the day, but it was not enough, as Hindley cruised to the finish line, taking the acclaim from the crowd.
“It’s a beautiful feeling,” Hindley said. “A lot of emotions out there today. I had in the back of my mind what happened in 2020 and I wasn’t going to let that happen again, to be honest. To take the win is really incredible.
“I was getting updates and I felt pretty good on the bike—I didn’t feel like I was fighting it and I knew it was a decent ride.
“I wanted to take the descent pretty cautiously but then I just gave it everything to the end. I’m really proud to be Australian and happy to take this one home.”
Spaniard Mikel Landa took the final spot on the overall podium behind Hindley and Carapaz, ahead of 37-year-old, two-time Giro champion Vincenzo Nibali in fourth, riding his final Giro.
Italian rider Matteo Sobrero of BikeExchange–Jayco earned a first Giro stage win of his career after posting an impressive early time of 22 minutes and 24.54 seconds, which could not be bettered.
(Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Clare Fallon)