Jai Hindley enters history books as Australia’s first Giro d’Italia winner

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Jai Hindley enters history books as Australia's first Giro d'Italia winner - GETTY IMAGES

Jai Hindley enters history books as Australia’s first Giro d’Italia winner – GETTY IMAGES

Jai Hindley sealed an historic victory on Sunday when the Bora-Hansgrohe rider became the first Australian to win the Giro d’Italia.

Three weeks and a day after setting off from Budapest, Hungary, Hindley lined up on the starting line for the final-day 17.4-kilometre time trial through Verona with a 1min 25sec lead over Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers). Having ridden a near faultless race, Hindley wrestled the maglia rosa off the shoulders of Carapaz when the penultimate stage entered the high mountains on Saturday, before the 26-year-old secured the leader’s pink jersey on Sunday.

Despite losing 7sec to the Ecuadorian in the final stage, won by Italian national time trial champion Matteo Sobrero (BikeExchange-Jayco), Hindley avoided repeat of the 2020 edition when he lost the jersey on the final day to eventual winner Tao Geoghegan Hart. In the end, Hindley won by 1min 18sec, while Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) rounded off the podium in third at 3min 24sec.

“It’s a beautiful feeling,” Hindley said. “I had a lot of emotions earlier today. I had in the back of my mind what happened in 2020 and I wasn’t going to let it happen again. To take this win is really incredible. I’m really proud to be Australian and to take this one home.”

Jai Hindley enters history books as Australia's first Giro d'Italia winner - REUTERSJai Hindley enters history books as Australia's first Giro d'Italia winner - REUTERS

Jai Hindley enters history books as Australia’s first Giro d’Italia winner – REUTERS

Giro d’Italia stage 21: As it happened . . .

03:34 PM

Jai rules in Verona

Jai Hindley - Jai Hindley enters history books as Australia's first Giro d'Italia winner - GETTY IMAGESJai Hindley - Jai Hindley enters history books as Australia's first Giro d'Italia winner - GETTY IMAGES

Jai Hindley – Jai Hindley enters history books as Australia’s first Giro d’Italia winner – GETTY IMAGES

Jai Hindley - Jai Hindley enters history books as Australia's first Giro d'Italia winner - REUTERSJai Hindley - Jai Hindley enters history books as Australia's first Giro d'Italia winner - REUTERS

Jai Hindley – Jai Hindley enters history books as Australia’s first Giro d’Italia winner – REUTERS

03:12 PM

Hindley seals Giro d’Italia!

The Australian has done it, Jai Hindley is the new Giro d’Italia champion. The Bora-Hansgrohe rider finished the stage in 15th place, a few seconds behind Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers). In the end the 26-year-old from Perth beat Carapaz by 1min 18sec. Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) rounds off the final podium.

Speaking afterwards, Hindley said: “I had in the back of my mind what happened in 2020 and I wasn’t going to let that happen again. I was getting updates and I felt pretty good on the bike. So in the end I could take corners cautiously. I’m a proud Australian and I’m delighted to take this win home, being the first Australian to win the Giro d’Italia.”

Apparently, Hindley has not seen his parents for two and a half years – today they are in Verona ready to congratulate their son who has ridden a near-perfect race over the last three weeks.

Italian national time trial champion Matteo Sobrero (BikeExchange-Jayco), meanwhile, won the final stage and his team’s third, finishing 23sec ahead of Thymen Arensman (DSM), with Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) taking third at 40sec.

03:09 PM

Carapaz secures runners-up spot

Richard Carapaz has emptied himself on the streets of Verona here today, finishing 10th on the day, but it will not be enough to take back the maglia rosa off the shoulders of Jai Hindley.

03:08 PM

Landa takes final podium spot

Mikel Landa completes his race – 74th on the stage – the Basque finishes third on general classification.

03:05 PM

Arrivederci Vincenzo!

Vincenzo Nibali ends his Giro d’Italia, the Italian should have done enough to secure his fourth place.

Vincenzo Nibali  - GETTY IMAGESVincenzo Nibali  - GETTY IMAGES

Vincenzo Nibali – GETTY IMAGES

03:04 PM

Hindley is riding into history books

Jai Hindley is the last rider to go over the Torricella Massimiliana climb and he was 1sec slower than Richard Carapaz, but really should have enough of a cushion here to win the Giro d’Italia in a little under 10 minutes time.

03:01 PM

Carapaz all but secures second place

Richard Carapaz is 10th fastest at the time check atop the Torricella Massimiliana climb, over a minute faster than Mikel Landa and so his second spot on general classification looks secure.

02:58 PM

Carapaz closing in on Hindley

. . .  but only by 4sec.

02:57 PM

Nibali nears end of the road

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Qazaqstan), who will retire at the end of the season, labours his way over the Torricella Massimiliana. There will be no fairytale ending for the man nicknamed the shark.

02:55 PM

Carapaz cheered on

Richard Carapaz, who celebrates his 29th birthday today, is emptying himself. And why wouldn’t he? He is be being cheered on as he tackles the Torricella Massimiliana climb, but I think he has too much to do to overhaul Jai Hindley.

02:49 PM

Hindley gets race under way

And all he has to to is stay upright, stay composed in the corners and ride a steady race. With that 1min 25sec cushion he has, Jai Hindley can afford to lose just under 5sec every kilometre and still win the Giro d’Italia.

02:47 PM

Carthy finishes in style

Hugh Carthy sets the 10th fastest on the day, a result that should see him move up to ninth on general classification ahead of Juan Pedro López. Moments later Richard Carapaz rolls down the starting ramp. The Ineos Grenadiers has to do the time trial of his life if he is to overhaul man of the moment Jai Hindley.

02:43 PM

Landa is out on course

. . .but can the popular Basque overhaul Richard Carapaz? Mikel Landa trails the birthday boy by 26sec.

02:38 PM

Hindley minutes away from his final test

Jan Hirt (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) is out on the course now, as is Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious). Next down the starting ramp is Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Qazaqstan), before the top three riders in the Giro d’Italia get their races under way. This will be the final chance for any late shake ups in the general classification.

02:34 PM

Bouwman seals mountains jersey

Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) completes his race to seal the mountains classification jersey. Bouwman’s compatriot Thymen Arensman, meanwhile, has  fallen short of Matteo Sobrero’s benchmark time of 22min 24sec, finishing second best to the Italian national champion at 22sec.

02:31 PM

Arensman the flying Dutchman

Thymen Arensman was around 18sec faster than Mathieu van der Poel at the intermediate. That’s a very impressive time, but can he sustain that pace all the way? Meanwhile, Domenico Pozzovivo (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) and Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) have just started rolling.

02:26 PM

Carthy out on course

British climber Hugh Carthy (EF Education-EasyPost), who is 10th on general classification, is out on the course. As is the best young rider at this year’s race, Juan Pedro López (Trek-Segafredo). Not too much for either to fight over, unless Carthy is aiming to move up a single place and leapfrog the Spaniard.

02:19 PM

The final countdown . . .

02:17 PM

Tulett completes first grand tour in style

Ben Tulett sets the third fastest time, completing the course in 23min 36.34sec – that’s an average speed of 44.227km/h. What an impressive grand tour debut the young man has had.

02:14 PM

Counting down to the hitters

Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe), winner of the stage to Mount Etna and a man who played a key role for Jai Hindley yesterday, is out on the course. The German was followed by Dutchmen Thymen Arensman (DSM) and Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe) as we get nearer to the business end of the day.

Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadiers), Lorenzo Fortunato (Eolo-Kometa), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), Lucas Hamilton (BikeExchange-Jayco), Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain Victorious) and  Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) will follow at one-minute intervals, before the top 10 in general classification will follow.

02:07 PM

Tulett is one for the future

Superb opening half from Ben Tulett (Ineos Grenadiers), the 20-year-old from Sevenoaks, who was fifth fastest over the Torricella Massimiliana climb. He’s had a great race and I think he could be challenging in the grand tours in the future.

02:00 PM

Foss eyes top 10 finish

Tobias Foss completes the stage in 23min 43.2sec – the fifth fastest time of the day so far. That may be good enough for a top 10 on this stage, but there another 54 riders to finish their races yet.

01:56 PM

It’s a wrap for Van der Poel

Mathieu van der Poel is completes his first ever grand tour, setting the second fastest time of the day – 23min 4.24sec.

01:47 PM

Van der Poel is second best . . . so far

Mathieu van der Poel is second fastest over the top of the Torricella Massimiliana climb. The Dutchman won the opening stage and has featured in almost every stage – either challenging for sprints or getting into breakaways. He has really won over a lot of cycling fans with his aggressive riding, sporting behaviour to his rivals and light-hearted larking back in the grupetto.

Mathieu van der Poel  - GETTY IMAGESMathieu van der Poel  - GETTY IMAGES

Mathieu van der Poel – GETTY IMAGES

Mathieu van der Poel  - GETTY IMAGESMathieu van der Poel  - GETTY IMAGES

Mathieu van der Poel – GETTY IMAGES

01:43 PM

Sobrero smashes it

Matteo Sobrero obliterates the time set by Mauro Schmid, going 1min 17sec faster than the Swiss with a time of  22min 24.54sec – that’s an average speed of 46.588km/h. That’s going to be hard to beat . . . can Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), who is currently out on the course, get anyway near that?

Matteo Sobrero  - APMatteo Sobrero  - AP

Matteo Sobrero – AP

01:38 PM

Schmid on a roll

Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma), the Norwegian national time trial champion, gets his race under way. Not seen too much of Foss at this year’s Giro, is today the day for him to shine?

Decent finishing time from Briton James Knox (Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl), another rider who has only had a few cameos over the last three weeks. Knox’s Swiss team-mate Mauro Schmid then sets a new fastest time of 23min 41,53sec.

01:33 PM

Forza Sobrero!

Matteo Sobrero (BikeExchange-Jayco), the Italian time trial champion, has caught his minute-man Giovanni Aleotti (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Dario Cataldo (Trek-Segafredo), the latter of whom started two minutes ahead of him. The 25-year-old is flying and was 41sec faster than Magnus Cort at the intermediate split. Meanwhile, Mauro Schmid (Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl), who won a stage at last year’s Giro, was the fourth fastest at the time split.

01:27 PM

Amazing footage from yesterday’s stage

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01:17 PM

The final breakaway

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) rolls down the starting ramp, the popular Belgian is a decent shout for the stage win today but much will depend on how his legs are following yesterday’s monster stage. Edoardo Affini then crosses the line, setting the second fastest time of the day. . . before he is bumped down a spot by Magnus Cort who sets the new fastest time of the day –

23min 42.12sec.

01:12 PM

Cort motoring along

Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost) was the fastest rider through the first – and only – time split. The Dane was over 6sec faster than current leader Michael Hepburn (BikeExchange-Jayco) at the same point. Edoardo Affini, meanwhile, just had a bit of a wobble as he overcooked a corner on that wet descent I mentioned.

Magnus Cort - GETTY IMAGESMagnus Cort - GETTY IMAGES

Magnus Cort – GETTY IMAGES

01:07 PM

Cavendish’s final flourish

One stage win on the opening weekend for Mark Cavendish was as good as it got for the British sprinter at this year’s race, but he battled through the mountains and all the way to Verona where he completed his final day time trial in 27min 32.33sec. It is assumed that Cavendish will not be racing at the Tour de France and he is out of contract at the end of the season. Somehow, though, I don’t think this will be the last we see of him in the grand tours.

Mark Cavendish - REUTERSMark Cavendish - REUTERS

Mark Cavendish – REUTERS

01:00 PM

As it stands . . .

Afternoon all, the final stage of the Giro d’Italia is very much under way and 35 riders have already completed their races. Julius van den Berg (EF Education-EasyPost) set and early benchmark time of 24min 53.69sec, but was overhauled by Michael Hepburn (BikeExchange-Jayco) a couple of minutes ago. Spots of rain have been falling on the course, meaning there are a few slippy patches on the road – the most treacherous being on the descent. It looks as if fresh asphalt has been laid which will be lovely to ride on in the dry, not so much when wet.

Local rider Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) hit the course eight minutes ago and will be eyeing the stage win today. He’s certainly one of the many riders who this course looks perfect for.

11:25 AM

Clocking on times

Setting off in reverse order of the general classification, Roger Kluge ​(Lotto-Soudal) gets the time trial under way at 1pm (BST). The first 139 of the remaining 149 riders in the race will set off one minute apart from each other, while the top 10 on general classification will be separated by three-minute gaps. Overall race leader Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) will roll down the starting ramp at 3.48pm.

Here’s the complete starting order . . .

10:30 AM

What’s on today’s menu?

So, what does the stage look like?

Stage 21 time trialStage 21 time trial

Stage 21 time trial

Here’s what the roadbook says about the stage…

An individual time trial on the Torricelle Circuit (the same as in the World Championships), covered counter-clockwise. The first part is on broad, straight boulevards, followed by an ascent sloping for 4.5km at 5% in a series of steps, on narrower roadway. Split time is taken past the Torricella Massimiliana summit. The route then descends for 4km, still on wide and straight roads. The last 3km along the city streets, with some sharp bends, lead all the way to the finish in Piazza Bra and the Verona Arena.

The final kilometres are on broad, straight urban avenues. The final time is taken in Piazza Bra, before entering the Arena. The home straight is 150m long, on 6.5m wide asphalt road.

10:30 AM

Catch up: Highlights from Saturday’s stage

It was a stage for the ages, won by Alessandro Covi who escaped from the clutches of the breakaway on the penultimate climb before going on a long solo raid to take the biggest win of his career. But it was the marmalising of Richard Carapaz on the Marmolada by Bora-Hansgrohe double act Lennard Kämna and Jai Hindley that took the headlines. Hindley finished the job off on the upper slopes of the final climb to all but seal Australia’s first Giro d’Italia title having ridden a near faultless race since he set off from Budapest, Hungary, three weeks ago. Watch the highlights here . . .

10:30 AM

Ciao!

Hello and welcome to our live rolling blog from stage 21 at the Giro d’Italia, the 17.4-kilometre individual time trial through Verona.

Following yesterday’s momentous stage in which Jai Hindley and his Bora-Hansgrohe team-mates rolled over Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) and tickled his tummy before tearing the leader’s pink jersey off his shoulders, history should be made this afternoon when the 26-year-old from Perth becomes the first Australian to win the Giro. Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates) won the stage, of course. Before we take a brief look at the profile of today’s stage, here’s what the standings look like going into the final stage . . .

Hindley will wear the maglia rosa, the leader’s pink jersey, for the first time since 2020 when, coincidentally, he also held it for one stage only – the final day time trial – before losing it to eventual winner Tao Geoghegan Hart. On that occasion, though, the two riders went into the Milan time trial on the same time.

Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) takes an unassailable lead in the points classification into the stage, the Frenchman only needs to complete the time trial within the time limit to take home the maglia ciclamino, or cyclamen jersey, he also won back in 2020.

Providing Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) also finishes within the time limit, then he will become the first Dutchman to take home the maglia azzurra (blue jersey) as mountains classification winner.

Juan Pedro López (Trek-Segafredo) holds the maglia bianca, or white jersey, as leader in the youth classification and should take that home with him to Spain providing he can avoid any major disasters.