Former runner-up becomes Australia’s first Giro d’Italia winner

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One of the better comeback wins in Grand Tour cycling, for many a season. (Photo: Bora-Hansgrohe)
One of the better comeback wins in Grand Tour cycling, for many a season. (Photo: Bora-Hansgrohe)

Jai Hindley conquered his rivals and runner-up anxiety to become Australia’s first Giro d’Italia winner on Sunday.

The 26-year-old Bora-Hansgrohe rider finished 15th on Giro’s final time trial, securing the win. It was a telling result for both rider and team.

Bora-Hansgrohe has never threatened to win one of cycling’s Grand Tours, but Hindley delivered the team a terrific result. And one that makes amends for a deflated Giro d’Italia experience nearly two years ago.

During the 2020 Giro d’Italia, Hindley looked confident of a win. On the final day, he was bested by Tao Geoghegan Hart, losing the race by only 39 seconds after three weeks of riding.

Hindley is a specialist climber, but showed speed on the Giro’s flat time trial stages. (Photo: Bora-Hansgrohe)

A new era for Grand Tour riders from Down Under?

Banishing the disappointment of that 2020 Giro d’Italia, Hindley kept his composure on the final 17.4km time trial in Verona. Going into the Giro’s final stage, Hindley defended his lead into the event’s 21st stage. Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz finished second overall.

For Hindley, this could be a career-defining win. And one which has resonated with the broader cycling community. The Australian showed true grit by not allowing the memory of 2020 to ghost his final day Giro performance.

Hindley’s win is the most significant achievement by an Australian rider since Cadel Evans rode to Tour de France victory in 2011.

Beyond Hindley’s win, the Giro was poignant for Italian fans. Vincenzo Nibali finished fourth overall in his 11th and final Giro. The 37-year old rider, regarded as the greatest Italian rider of his generation, will be retiring at the end of this season. 

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