Verona, May 29 (BUS): Jay Hindley narrowly missed two years ago by claiming the overall victory at the Giro d’Italia on Sunday – becoming the first Australian rider to win the Grand Tour of Italy.
Hindley finished one minute, 18 seconds ahead of 2019 champion Richard Carapaz after the solo trial, which ended next to the Verona Arena, the Roman Amphitheater.
The win was even more beautiful for Hindley as he entered the final stage of the 2020 Giro in only the pink jersey to finish runner-up against Tao Jiujiegan Hart. Hindley said second place kept chasing him for several months after that.
Carabaz finished seven seconds ahead of Hindley in time trial, but Hindley entered the final day with a 1:25 advantage, according to the Associated Press.
Hindley struggled last year with injury and illness and retired midway through 2021 with a saddle sore.
Restricted due to COVID-19 regulations, Hindley has not returned to her native Australia since before the pandemic.
In essence, Hindley was better or nearly identical to the Carapaz on nearly all climbs.
Hindley’s climbing prowess was already evident in 2020 when he won the “Queen” stage in the Giro on the Stelvio Pass.
Now, the 26-year-old Hindley has joined 2011 Tour de France champion Cadel Evans as the only Australian to win a Grand Tour.
Carapaz, an Ecuadorean who won Olympic gold last year and was celebrating his 29th birthday on Sunday, was the favorite before the race.
Spanish rider Mikel Landa finished third in the overall standings by 3:24, and Vincenzo Nibali, the 37-year-old giro champion who plans to retire at the end of this season, finished fourth, trailing 9:02.
Hindley, who was donning a pink and black aerodynamic helmet to go with the leader’s pink jersey, simply smiled and pumped his fist a few times after crossing the finish line.
Italian rider Matteo Sobrero won the 17.4 km (11 miles) test, which followed a technical route that included a Class 4 ascent and a next descent, in 22 minutes 24.54 seconds.