Tao Geoghegan Hart has won the Giro d'Italia, riding today's 15.7-kilometre time trial from Cernusco sul Naviglio to Milan's Piazza Duomo 39 seconds ahead of Team Sunweb's Jai Hindley, who led the race by just 86/100ths of a second ahead of the final stage, the narrowest margin in the history of the race going into its last day.
The stage win went to Geoghegan Hart’s team mate, Filippo Ganna – the time trial world champion completing a clean sweep of the three stages against the clock in this year’s Giro d’Italia.
The 25 year old from Hackney, riding his fourth Grand Tour, proved the strongest rider over the final week or so of the race, taking stage victories at Piancavallo last Sunday and Sestriere yesterday.
Hindley, meanwhile, finished second yesterday, having won on Thursday at Laghi di Cancano on aq stage that included the Passo dello Stelvio.
The Australian set off 3 minutes after Geoghegan Hart on the flat course this afternoon and in the opening 3 kilometres there was nothing between the two riders vying for the overall victory.
Geoghegan Hart, pedalling more smoothly than his 24 year old rival, then began to pull out time on the Team Sunweb rider, 5 seconds becoming 10, then 20, and he was around half a minute ahead at the intermediate time check which came after 10.3 kilometres.
He would extend his advantage further by the time he reached the finish line next to Milan’s imposing Gothic cathedral, where he was met by his partner, the Canyon-SRAM rider, Hannah Barnes.
“Finally maybe I’m not the second best cyclist in the household,” Geoghegan Hart told a reporter from Italy’s RAI broadcasting network after his overall victory had been confirmed.
Having ridden the stage in the white skinsuit of best young rider, a competition led by Hindley this morning, he also adds victory in that classification to the overall title.
There was also an emotional reunion in Piazza Duomo between the Giro d’Italia winner and his team mate Ganna, as well as Ineos Grenadiers sport director Dario Cioni and team principal Sir Dave Brailsford – the latter’s exclamation of, “Oh, f*cking hell!” picked up by a microphone as he embraced Geoghegan Hart.
Hindley’s team mate, Wilco Kelderman, who only yesterday morning held the maglia rosa, completed the overall podium, 1 minute 29 seconds behind Geoghegan Hart.
The podium presentations at the end of the race also included Groupama-FDJ’s Arnaud Demare, who took four stages, receive the maglia ciclimina as winner of the points competition, and EF Pro Cycling’s Ruben Guerreiro awarded the blue jersey as best climber.
In a race that saw the early departure of their leader Geraint Thomas following a crash at the neutralised start of Stage 3 to Mount Etna, Ineos Grenadiers also won the team competition.
The British UCI WorldTour outfit won seven of the 21 stages – Ganna adding one on the road to his three time trial wins, two from Geoghegan Hart and one by Jhonatan Narvaez – and to complete a memorable day for Ineos Grenadiers Richard Carapaz, signed from Movistar after winning last year's Giro d'Italia, also moved into the overall lead at the Vuelta a Espana.
Maglia Rosa Tao Geoghegan Hart
Until the moment I crossed the line, I tried to take it like any other stage or any Sunday ride. It was just about performing and seeing my family and friends at the finish. It’s been a strange year for everyone around the globe. I haven’t been home since last year and I’m looking forward to seeing my siblings. It’ll be strange to leave the team bubble. It’s amazing to be in this position as the winner of the Giro d’Italia. Congratulations to Jai and Wilco Kelderman for their podium finish. It’s been a great fight. Right up until I reached Milan, I didn't think I was gonna win the Giro d’Italia. It’s crazy!
Runner up Jai Hindley
I did everything I could, I laid it all out there on the road. The result is what it is and I accept that and regret nothing. I did ask to receive time checks and I knew what was happening but there was nothing I could do. I was going as hard as I could. Of course I'm disappointed after what happened today, but I'm super proud of how the team rode, how I rode over the past three weeks. Hopefully this is just the beginning. This is for sure my best performance ever and hopefully it's a step in the right direction for things to come. I'd like to come back here - I love this race. It's brutal but it's also beautiful. I'll definitely be back.
Third place Wilco Kelderman
I wanted to finish things off in a good way, and I was really motivated to get a good result today - actually it went pretty well. Still, we lost the Giro on the last day and that's just disappointing, but in the end I'm super happy with the podium. If they had told me three weeks ago that I will be on the podium here in the Giro then I would have signed on the dotted line. When I’m back home next week I will think about it and I’ll feel very proud and happy.
Maglia Ciclamino Arnaud Démare
That was a beautiful and demanding time trial. I had stiff legs after three hard weeks of racing. I watched Filippo Ganna riding fantastically and I was happy to see my teammate Miles Scotson finish in fifth place. Four stage wins and the Maglia Ciclamino make it an exceptional season for me and the team. I'm proud of my teammates.
Maglia Azzurra Ruben Guerreiro
After such a hard Giro I had nothing left in the legs. I just managed to finish. I enjoyed the three weeks in Italy and it was a big effort from all the organisation, congratulations to everyone involved. Everyone was fighting for a stage, and it was a good race. This Maglia Azzurra for me is a big source of motivation. In cycling you never know what can happen, I'm feeling better and stronger, I think I'm not too old. Now I want to enjoy this moment, make the most of the memories and take some time off. I’ve raced before [with Tao Geoghegan Hart], he was happy for me when I took my stage. I told him: ‘you're going to have your moment’, so it’s good that it turned out like that. I would also have liked to see João on the podium, I'm proud of him too.
Stage winner Filippo Ganna
Maybe next year I’m not going to win a single time trial - I can't take anything for granted. I know that I have to go back to working hard and keeping a low profile. I started this morning very focused for the win and focused on taking a seventh stage victory at this Giro d’Italia for the team. Today was the icing on the cake after all the work we’ve done over three weeks, with Tao's excellent time trial. Today’s my most beautiful win, it's wonderful to win for myself after having helped my teammates to great victories. It’s been a bombshell Giro!
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.