Giro d’Italia 2021, stage 21 – live updates

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Filippo Ganna set the fastest time in Sunday's time trial despite having to take a bike change - GETTY IMAGES

Filippo Ganna set the fastest time in Sunday’s time trial despite having to take a bike change – GETTY IMAGES

02:27 PM

Martinez eyes top five finish

Dani Martinez rolls down the ramp, the Colombian national time trial champion starts the day just 8sec shy of Romain Bardet in fifth spot on general classification and you really must back the Ineos Grenadiers rider to overhaul the Frenchman.

02:20 PM

Eighth wonder

He’s ridden a brilliant Giro d’Italia in support of Egan Bernal and Gianni Moscon has just set to eighth fastest time in this time trial, 44.36sec slower than team-mate Filippo Ganna who is on the verge of winning his second stage at this year’s race – and fifth of his career.

02:15 PM

Bettiol bows out

Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-Nippo), a stage winner earlier this week, completes his Giro in impressive style – and I’m not talking about his black shoes-white socks combination – with the sixth fastest time of the day (+34.04sec).

02:13 PM

Hitters coming home

Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious), Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma), George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) and Dan Martin (ISN) are all out on the course, with Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma), Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Nippo) and Dani Martinez (Ineos Grenadiers) due to follow. The top five riders on general classification will set off of 3.25pm with Romain Bardet (DSM), then at three-minutes intervals Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech), Simon Yates (BikeExchange), Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) and Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers).

02:08 PM

Up for grabs

Other than the maglia rosa, Egan Bernal will be taking home the Trofeo Senza Fine – the endless trophy – should he complete today’s time trial at least 1min 59sec faster than Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious). Caruso was faster than Bernal in the stage one time trial three week’s ago yesterday, but I don’t think he can hope to be much more than 30sec quicker over this course in Milan.

Trofeo Senza Fine - GETTY IMAGESTrofeo Senza Fine - GETTY IMAGES

Trofeo Senza Fine – GETTY IMAGES

02:02 PM

Counting down to pink

Lorenzo Fortunato (Eolo-Kometa), the rider that won the Monte Zoncolan stage, has his final race under way and we are getting towards the big general classification names now. I don’t think anybody is seriously thinking there will be any major changes today, but we have already seen a few spills and thrills and so nobody will be wanting to take any unnecessary risks.

01:49 PM

Bouchard is king of the hill

Geoffrey Bouchard (Ag2r-Citroën) completes his race to secure the maglia azzurra, the second mountains classification jersey of his career after also topping the standings at the 2019 Vuelta a España.

01:47 PM

Heavy traffic

Matteo Sobrero (Astana-Premier Tech) sets the fourth fastest time of the day (+13.86sec), but the Italian neo-pro was delayed by a Groupama-FDJ team car. Bizarrely, the vehicle did not pull aside to allow the rider to pull through resulting in Sobrero losing his temper and giving the car a bang. That may have cost him third spot, currently held by Edoardo Affini, who he trails by just 1.7sec.

01:40 PM

Cavagna clocks off

Poor old Rémi Cavagna. Not too sure if he sustained any serious injuries in that crash, but the Frenchman is stretching out his back at the finishing line. Hopefully it is a case of damaged pride rather than broken bones. Either way, the Deceuninck-Quick Step rider limps out of his second Giro d’Italia a little battered and bruised.

01:34 PM

Cavagna is derailed

Rémi Cavagna catches Briton Mark Christian (Eolo-Kometa), his five-minute man, before disaster strikes. The Frenchman appears to lock up his rear wheel on a slight chicane, and without changing direction flies into the barriers. That’s his time trial done. Absolutely heartbreaking stuff. In the end he sets the second fastest time of the day.

01:29 PM

Mind the gap

Rémi Cavagna close in on the rider ahead of him – Filippo Zana (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane) – as he powers towards the finishing line, but can the Frenchman rein in Filippo Ganna? It could be a close cut.

01:24 PM

Cavagna second best… as it stands

Rémi Cavagna loses a further five seconds or so to stage leader Filippo Ganna, arriving at the second time split 18.35sec slower than the world time trial champion. The Frenchman is, however, going slightly faster than Edoardo Affini at the same point and so is second overall as it stands.

01:12 PM

Delayed service from the TGV

Rémi Cavagna has given himself an awful lot of work to do if he is to win the first stage for Deceuninck-Quick Step at this year’s Giro d’Italia. The Frenchman trails Fillipo Ganna by 13.29sec at the first time split.

Rémi Cavagna - GETTY IMAGESRémi Cavagna - GETTY IMAGES

Rémi Cavagna – GETTY IMAGES

01:05 PM

Full steam ahead for Cavagna

Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick Step), the French time trial champion, is out on the course for his final day of racing at the Giro. The rider nicknamed the ‘TGV’ will be hoping to set decent time and may have been buoyed by the fact that Filippo Ganna will have lost a few, potentially crucial, seconds as a result of that bike change.

12:52 PM

Sagan completes his Giro

Peter Sagan gives the fans and cameras a wave as he completes his second successive Giro d’Italia to secure the maglia ciclamino, cyclamen jersey, as winner of the points classification.

Peter Sagan - APPeter Sagan - AP

Peter Sagan – AP

12:47 PM

Affini is second best

Edoardo Affini completes his Giro d’Italia, finishing the final stage 12.61sec slower than Filippo Ganna in second place.

12:43 PM

Ganna in pole position

The world time trial champion was forced into taking a bike change during his time trial, but still manages to set the fastest time of the day – 33min 48.60sec (53.787kh/h). Max Walscheid who had barely had time to take his place in the hotseat, gives the cameras a smile and applauds the beast that is Filippo Ganna.

Filippo Ganna - GETTY IMAGESFilippo Ganna - GETTY IMAGES

Filippo Ganna – GETTY IMAGES

12:41 PM

Bike change for Ganna!

Worrying moment for Filippo Ganna who is forced into taking a quick bike change. It looks as if he had a puncture in his rear wheel.

Filippo GannaFilippo Ganna

Filippo Ganna

12:40 PM

Ganna is motoring

Max Walscheid sets the new fastest time of 34min 21.78sec, but Filippo Ganna is motoring towards the finishing line. The Italian has already caught four riders that started ahead of him and, as I type, is flying along at 58km/h.

12:33 PM

Ganna riding aggresively

Filippo Ganna leads by over 30 seconds at the second time check. He’s taking plenty of risks too, throwing himself into the corners with gusto, swinging to avoid a drain cover, but somehow sustaining a fierce tempo – 53.932km/h.

12:26 PM

Ganna in the boxseat

Filippo Ganna is fastest at the first intermediate split – 10min 18.64sec – and he’s motoring along, sweeping past those who set off before him. Max Walscheid was the second fastest (+11.94sec) while Edoardo Affini was the third fastest 15.72sec down on Ganna.

12:21 PM

Smooth operator

An aerial shot shows Edoardo Affini pushing on and it must be said he’s looking pretty smooth. There are two time checks during today’s stage and so we should soon be able to draw a comparison between Filippo Ganna and Affini.

12:18 PM

A certain ratio

For those interested in these things, Filippo Ganna is pushing an absolutely huge gear today. A 58-tooth chainring on the front and he’s twiddling away on it as if spinning on a compact. Impressive.

12:14 PM

Affini rolls down the ramp

Can Edoardo Affini, another Italian who is strong in this discipline, is out on the road. Filippo Ganna, by the way, has the perfect position and is riding at a high cadence but his body is barely moving side-to-side. Absolute perfection.

12:09 PM

Ganna sets off!

Here we go. The world tome trial champion and one the hardest working riders at this year’s Giro is out on the road. The crowds are out in big numbers in Milan and they are, understandably, cheering on the Italian. This course, by the way, is absolutely perfect for Filippo Ganna who also won the opening stage at this year’s race. The only question mark over Ganna would be the fact that he has worked tirelessly on the front on behalf of team-mate Egan Bernal, while Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) may have had an easier three weeks enabling him to save a little bit back for today.

12:05 PM

Bodnar catches Richeze

Maciej Bodnar is not hanging around, the Pole catching his minute-man Max Richeze a short while ago. With a back almost as panflat as today’s course, the Bora-Hansgrohe rider is looking good.

12:00 PM

As it stands . . .

The first 16 riders have their races under way and so the aforementioned Riccardo Minali, Matteo Moschetti (Trek-Segafredo), Attilio Viviani (Cofidis), Alexander Krieger (Alpecin-Fenix), Albert Torres (Movistar), Umberto Marengo (Bardiani CSF Faizane), Maximiliano Richeze (UAE Team Emirates), Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe), Elia Viviani (Cofidis), Koen de Kort (Trek-Segafredo), Lukasz Wisniowski (Qhubeka-Assos), Fabio Sabatini (Cofidis), Nicola Venchiarutti (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Matthias Brändle (ISN), Samuele Rivi (Eolo-Kometa) and Max Walscheid (Qhubeka-Assos) are all out on the road.

Of that group, Bodnar is a bit of a dark horse for the stage win. The Pole won the penultimate day time trial at the 2017 Tour de France and so has proved he can make it through three weeks working for others and still keep enough in the tank to take a solo win. Another that will be hoping to post a decent time is Brändle, the former world hour record holder. But the big, big favourites today are Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers), the world time trial champion, and Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma), both of whom will roll down the starting ramp within the next 11 minutes.

09:00 AM

So, what’s on today’s menu then?

Well, as you can see from the below profile the final stage of the Giro d’Italia could not be more different to the last two days – it is panflat with just 100 metres in vertical gain.

ITTITT

ITT

As is traditional, riders will roll down the starting ramp in reverse order of the general classification and so Riccardo Minali (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), who sits five hours 34 minutes and three seconds behind Egan Bernal in 143rd spot sets off at 12.45pm (BST), while the maglia rosa will be the last rider to start his race at 3.37pm. Each will set off a minute after the previous, though once we reach the top 15 on general classification they will start three minutes apart.

Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers), the world time trial champion, starts at 1.08pm, three minutes ahead of Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma), another Italian who is tipped to win today’s stage.

Here’s what the roadbook says about the course: “The start of the individual time trial is set in the centre of Senago. The stage is played out on wide and mostly straight roads, as far as Sesto San Giovanni. From here on, the course runs almost straight up to 2km from the finish in Piazza Duomo. Tramway tracks, roundabouts and street furniture are found repeatedly along the route.

“In the stage finale, the route first runs on wide avenues, and then on narrowed roads over the last few hundred metres, with several consecutive 90-degree turns over the last 100-150 metres, before entering Piazza Duomo. The home straight (250m) is on 6 m wide stone-paved road.”

08:41 AM

Catch up: Highlights from Saturday’s stage

08:40 AM

Ciao!

Hello and welcome to our live rolling blog from stage 21 at the Giro d’Italia, the 30.3km individual time trial from Senago to Milan.

Before we have a brief look at what lies in store in today’s stage, the final day of the 104th edition of the first grand tour of the season, let’s have a recap of who leads the four main classifications, those that are awarded jerseys. Having survived his final test in the high mountains, Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) will wear the maglia rosa, or leader’s pink jersey – or most likely a pink skinsuit, for an 12th successive day and will, barring disaster, be packing that into his suitcase once racing concludes later on this afternoon.

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) all but secured the maglia ciclamino, the cyclamen jersey, at the first intermediate sprint in yesterday’s stage and will, barring him failing to finish today’s time trial within the time cut, secure the first Giro d’Italia points jersey of his career.

All Geoffrey Bouchard (Ag2r-Citroën) needs to do is finish today within the time cut to secure the maglia azzurra, blue jersey, which will be the second mountains classification jersey of his career after also topping the standings at the 2019 Vuelta a España.

Alexandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) will again wear the maglia bianca, or the white jersey, on behalf of the maglia rosa Bernal, though it will be the new Giro champion who will packing that away in his suitcase alongside his maglia rosa and the Trofeo Senza Fine.