The Tour Take | GIRO D'ITALIA Stage 21
1st – Sam Bennett
2nd – Elia Viviani
3rd – Jean-Pierre Drucker
The final stage of this year’s Giro d’Italia was around the streets of Rome, taking in many of the city’s historical monuments. The loop was a testing 11.5km that the riders were due to take in 10 times, but it was deemed a little too testing.
There were lots of narrow, poorly maintained roads on the finishing circuit. After a protest by the peloton, it was decided that the stage would be neutralized for the GC after three laps. From there, those that wanted to fight for the stage could do so. As a result, a reduced peloton fought for the win, while nearly all the GC contenders formed a groupetto that rolled in 16 minutes later
Chris Froome confirmed his GC win, becoming only the seventh rider to win all three grand tours, and the third to be the champion of all three at once. Froome also took the Maglia Azzurra for the KOM Classification. Elia Vivani won the Maglia Ciclamino, having won four stages this Giro. Miguel Angel Lopez won the Young Riders Classification, having also finished on the podium.
After the GC times were neutralized with 79km to go, the proper race started. A large group tried to go away but faltered after around 10km. From that group, our main break formed, consisting of only two riders; Chris Juul Jensen and Alexey Lutsenko. The two leaders got a maximum gap of around a minute, and were brought back with around 10km to go
The Winning move
Bahrain Merida surprisingly had control of the Peloton with around 3km to go. QuickStep were a long way back, and Bora Hansgrohe had just chased down a late attack. With a kilometre to go, QuickStep finally came to the fore, looking to control the pace. But Bahrain Merida had another surge in them; they fought with the QuickStep lead out, trying to drop Bonifazio off in front of Viviani.
With 200m to go, Viviani had muscled his Italian counterpart, and opened the sprint up early on the cobbled promenade that held the line. But Sam Bennett was lurking on Viviani’s wheel, and overran the Maglia Ciclamino in the final 50m to take his third stage win of the race.
The Wrap Up
Froome mightn’t be the most likeable cat in the peloton, but there’s no doubt that it’s another string in his bow to win the race in the way he did. It was a massive departure from the tightly contained way he’s usually won. It sucks that his AAF situation hasn’t been resolved, but that’s not his fault and he’s allowed to race here.
Tom Dumoulin’s result proved last year wasn’t a fluke, and he couldn’t really have ridden much better, but you’d be pushed to say he leaves the race satisfied.
In the sprint battle, Sam Bennett’s proved he can reach the top tier of sprinters. He was consistently as quick as Viviani, but he really lacked a great sprint lead-out (losing Rudiger Selig early in the race didn’t help), and his positioning was poor on some stages. Viviani won the sprint jersey and four stages; he probably won’t care who was the quickest because he was the winningest.
14th – Jack Haig (36th on GC)
29th – Rohan Dennis (16th on GC)
58th – Adam Hansen (60th on GC)
76th – Zak Dempster (126th on GC)
98th – Chris Hamilton (103rd on GC)
140th – Mitch Docker (131st on GC)
See you back at the social club,