Jai Hindley wins the Giro d’Italia as Matteo Sobrero takes time-trial victory

Giro d’Italia 2022

Stage 21

Jai Hindley (BORA-hansgrohe) sealed overall victory of the Giro d’Italia as Matteo Sobrero (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) comfortably won stage 21’s individual time-trial in Verona.

Hindley becomes the first Australian to win the Giro, making up for his cruel second-place finish at this race two years ago.

After dropping Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) on the agonisingly steep slopes of the Marmolada yesterday, the 26-year-old had almost a minute and a half’s lead on the Ecuadorian and one hand on the Endless Trophy ahead of the final day’s time-trial.

The Bora-hansgrohe rider lost just seven seconds on the stage and secured the maglia rosa by a minute and 18 seconds.

Carapaz, with a commendable ride, remained second overall, with Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious) rounding out the final podium.

Sobrero completed the 17.4km time-trial around Verona in a ferocious time of 22 minutes and 24 seconds, beating Thymen Arensman (Team DSM) by 23 seconds.

Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) finished third on the day whilst British rider Ben Tullett (Ineos Grenadiers) put in another good showing on the time-trial bike, coming in fifth.

Matteo Sobrero on his way to stage victory.

In fair Verona, where we lay our scene – a 17.4km individual time-trial around the city was all that remained of an arduous 105th edition of the Giro d’Italia.

Rolling off the start ramp in the south of the city, the route took the riders across the Adige River before gently rising towards Torricella Massimiliana castle – a fourth category climb that averaged 5.4% for 4.1km.

The riders then raced back towards the city, with a fast descent taking them back onto Verona’s narrow streets and guiding them towards the finish line in the Piazza Bra, next to the Arena di Verona – a Roman amphitheatre dating back to 30 AD.

From the early starters, when the rain was falling on the road up to the Torricella Massimiliana, Julius van den Berg (EF Education-EasyPost) set the benchmark with a time of 24:53.

However, on a day where all eyes were on a different Australian, Michael Hepburn (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) set an impressive time of 23-48, to move into the hot seat – averaging 43.85km/h over the hilly course.

Time-trial specialist Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) couldn’t beat Hepburn’s effort, but Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost) could.

The Dane was six seconds faster on the day, recording a time of 23:42 and becoming the first rider to nudge above 44km/h.

As the roads began to dry, Mauro Schmid (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) shaved half a second off Cort’s time but his visit to the hotseat was short lived.

Richard Carapaz was unable to regain the Maglia Rosa.

Matteo Sobrero, the Italian national time-trial champion, had already put 40 seconds into Cort’s time at the intermediate split, before coming into his own on the ride back into town.

Averaging 46.59km/h, Sobrero finished a minute and seventeen seconds ahead of Schmid, with a strong time of 22:24.

Mathieu van der Poel, hotly tipped for the stage win, could only record a time 40 seconds slower than Sobrero.

And after an impressive ride on stage two’s time-trial in Budapest, British rider Ben Tullett put in another strong performance, finishing the course in 23:36 to take fifth place.

As the GC riders began to take to the course, Thymen Arensman (Team DSM) went close to beating Sobrero’s time but could only finish second, 23 seconds behind the Italian.

There was only one change in the final top 10 for the GC men, as Hugh Carthy (EF Education-EasyPost) leapfrogged Juan Pedro López (Trek-Segafredo), who confirmed victory of the maglia bianco today, into ninth place on the standings after a strong time-trial.

With Carapaz and Hindley out on the course, there was almost nothing to separate the top two riders in this grand tour – as had been the case for almost every kilometre of the Giro up until yesterday’s final climb.

Hindley was just a second down on the Ecuadorian as they went through the intermediate time-check at the top of the climb, with only a complete disaster stopping him from securing the maglia rosa.

The final GC podium of Jai Hindley, Richard Carapaz and Mikel Landa.

Carapaz finished in a time of 23:48, handing him tenth place on the stage.

Despite the finish line being just a stone’s throw from the setting for William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, there was not to be any tragedy for Hindley today.

The Australian held his nerve in the final kilometres of the course, arriving at the Arena di Verona just seven seconds down on Carapaz and writing his name into Giro history in the process.

At a grand tour where compatriot Richie Porte (Ineos Grenadiers) said goodbye to three-week racing, Hindley put to bed the agony of the 2020 Giro and showed he is Australia’s man to challenge at the sport’s biggest races.

He also provided Bora-hansgrohe with their first-ever grand tour victory, and deservedly so, after the team provided plenty of entertainment during the final week to put Hindley in with a chance of winning the pink jersey.

There were no changes in the standings of the maglia ciclamino standings as Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) finished the final stage to secure victory, with Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) doing the same in the maglia azzurra competition.

Stage 21 result:

1. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) Team BikeExchange-Jayco, in 22:24
2. Thymen Arensman (Ned) Team DSM, at 23s
3. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix, at 40s
4. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo, at 1:08
5. Ben Tullett (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 1:12
6. Mauro Schmid (Swi) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, at 1:17
7. Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-EasyPost, at 1:18
8. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma, at 1:19
9. Michael Hepburn (Aus) Team BikeExchange-Jayco, 1:24
10. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers, at same time

General Classification:

1. Jai Hindley (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe, in 86:31:14
2. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers, at 1:18
3. Mikel Landa (Esp) Bahrain-Victorious, at 3:24
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team, at 9:02
5. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain-Victorious, at 9:14
6. Jan Hirt (Cze) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, at 9:28
7. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-hansgrohe, at 13:19
8. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, at 17:29
9. Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-EasyPost, at 17:54
10. Juan Pedro López (Esp) Trek-Segafredo, at 18:40

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