Roglic seals Giro d’Italia as Cavendish wins final stage on farewell tour

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Rome: Primoz Roglic expanded his grand tour portfolio by winning the Giro d’Italia on Sunday to add to his three Spanish Vuelta titles.

Roglic, riding for Jumbo-Visma, became the first Slovenian rider to win the Giro and he did it in dramatic fashion, claiming the lead in the penultimate stage after taking the pink jersey from Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) in Saturday’s mountain time trial.

Pink jersey Primoz Roglic toasts his victory on the processional last stage into Rome on Sunday.Credit: AP

It was the direct opposite of what happened in the 2020 Tour de France, when fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) took the lead from Roglic in another penultimate-day mountain time trial.

Riding a pink bike and wearing a pink helmet and pink socks, Roglic took it easy during the mostly ceremonious final stage, a 135-kilometre leg through the cobblestoned streets of Rome that concluded next to the Roman Forum.

Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan), who recently announced that he will retire at the end of this season, won the 21st and final stage in a sprint finish.

Roglic finished 14 seconds ahead of Thomas and 1 minute, 15 seconds ahead of Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) in the overall standings.

Mark Cavendish wins the sprint finish in Rome.Credit: AP

It’s the smallest finishing gap between the top riders in the Giro since Eddy Merckx won by 12 seconds ahead of Gianbattista Baronchelli in 1974.

Roglic’s time trial victory on Monte Lussari was his only stage win of the race. He was injured after crashing on a wet and slippery descent in stage 11, one of several falls he had during the three-week race.

It was Cavendish’s 17th career stage win in the Giro, to go with his 34 victories at the Tour de France and three at the Vuelta. The British rider started his sprint early enough that he was ahead of a crash in the final straight involving several competitors.

Roglic has now won all three races he’s entered this year after also finishing first in the Tirreno-Adriatico and the Volta a Catalunya – both week-long races.

Roglic won three consecutive Vueltas in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

The final stage concluded with six loops of a 13.6-kilometre circuit in the centre of Rome, taking the peloton past the Baths of Caracalla, the Colosseum, the Vatican and the Circus Maximus.

The 24-year-old Almeida won the white jersey as the race’s top under-25 rider. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) won the mountains classification and Jonathan Milan (Bahrain Victorious) won the points classification.

AP

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