Jai Hindley secured overall victory in the Giro d’Italia as Matteo Sobrero won the concluding time trial in Verona.
Hindley could soak up the adulation in the city’s historic arena a day after taking the pink jersey off Richard Carapaz on Saturday’s final mountain stage to the top of the Marmalada, finishing with a comfortable winning margin of 78 seconds.
The 26-year-old becomes the first Australian winner of the Giro, 18 months after losing pink during a closing time trial.
That day he had begun on the same time as eventual winner Tao Geoghegan Hart, but this time the Bora-Hansgrohe rider began the day with 85 seconds in hand and could afford to take it easy over a 17km course, knowing that, barring a mechanical or crash, he had this one in hand.
“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.”
The course, built around the climb of the Torcella Massimiliana midway through, should have brought happy memories for Carapaz given these same roads were used for the concluding time trial when he took his Giro victory in 2019. Instead they would have reminded the Ecuadorian of what might have been on his 29th birthday after Saturday’s collapse.
There were celebrations for Sobrero in the Italian national time trial champion’s jersey as he won his first career Giro stage.
That made it two time trial wins out of two for BikeExchange-Jayco in this race after Simon Yates won on stage two prior to the knee injury that ended his race.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Sobrero said. “I still have to recognise everything but I’m really, really happy. For the team, we won the first one and we won the last one.
“I set my finish line at the top of the climb and I gave everything to there. Then on the descent it was what was left.”