MILAN: Cycling’s new generation claimed another Grand Tour victory on Sunday (Monday in Manila) as British rider Tao Geoghegan Hart won the Giro d’Italia after a tense time trial.
Geoghegan Hart edged Australian Jai Hindley by just 39 seconds in one of the most exciting final stages of a Grand Tour.
As well as the Maglia Rosa (pink jersey), Geoghegan Hart also beat Hindley to the white jersey that goes to the best young rider who is 25 or under. It was the first time since the 1994 Giro that the winner and runner-up in a Grand Tour were both eligible for the U25 classification.
Wilco Kelderman was third overall — 1:29 behind Geoghegan Hart — at the end of the three-week race, which appears to have finished just in time with rising numbers of coronavirus cases in Italy and new restrictions announced in the country.
“Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine this would be possible when we started out in Sicily almost a month ago,” Geoghegan Hart said.
Geoghegan Hart is 25 years old, a year older than Hindley. Portuguese rider João Almeida, who wore the Maglia Rosa for most of the Giro, is 22 — the same age as Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar.
Geoghegan Hart was supposed to be in Italy as support for Geraint Thomas but was thrust into a leadership role at Ineos Grenadiers after Thomas crashed and broke his pelvis in Stage 3.
Neither Geoghegan Hart nor Hindley had ever finished higher than 20th in a Grand Tour but the pair entered the final day at the top of the standings and tied on time — a first in Grand Tour history.