Mark Cavendish sprinted to victory in his closing Giro d’Italia stage as Primoz Roglic secured the general title.
Slovenia’s Roglic completed safely within the peloton to substantiate his first Giro title, with Geraint Thomas second.
Thomas helped lead out Cavendish within the closing phases, with the pair sharing an emotional embrace after the end.
Cavendish stated Thomas’ resolution to assist him regardless of driving for a special group was “off the cuff”.
“He’s so special, 25 years, he’s been one of my best friends you know,” he added.
“More than a bike rider he’s a good person, a good friend, a good team-mate, the most loyal guy you could get. That was pretty special.”
Cavendish’s first Grand Tour stage win was on the 2008 Giro.
“I couldn’t have ended my racing career in Italy in any better way than winning in Rome,” stated Cavendish.
“It’s pretty beautiful to have something that will stay in my memory forever, in my heart forever. It’s perfect.”
Astana rider Cavendish maintained his document of successful a minimum of one stage in every of the seven editions of the Giro he has raced.
His first victory of the season takes his total skilled win tally to 162 and he now has 54 stage wins in biking’s three Grand Tours.
Cavendish will flip his consideration to this 12 months’s Tour de France, the place he’ll try and take the all-time stage win document outright.
The Manxman is at the moment degree with the legendary Eddy Merckx on 34 Tour stage wins.
While his group have been unable to provide him a cohesive leadout right here, Cavendish confirmed all his nous, aided by Ineos Grenadiers’ Thomas, to place himself completely on the house straight.
He coasted previous Fernando Gaviria and Alex Kirsch and was firmly heading in the right direction for the win even earlier than a crash behind him.
Kirsch held on for second, with Filippo Fiorelli third.
At 38, Cavendish is the oldest rider to ever win a Giro stage.
Roglic secures first Giro title
Sunday’s closing stage was a processional 135km route round Rome throughout which, by precedent, the overall classification chief was not challenged for the general victory.
Having overhauled Thomas, 37, to assert the chief’s pink jersey on the penultimate stage, Roglic simply needed to safely full the course and duly did.
The Jumbo-Visma rider, 33, is the primary Slovenian to ever win the Giro.
It is his fourth Grand Tour win, having gained three Vuelta a Espana titles in a row from 2019 to 2021.
“Every win is definitely special and I’m just grateful to be able to achieve this one,” he stated.
“It will stay in my memories for the rest of my life.”
Roglic solely took the maglia rosa for the primary time after successful stage 20 however had ridden an excellent race to maintain inside placing distance of Thomas, after pre-race favorite Remco Evenepoel deserted whereas main after stage 9 as a result of he examined optimistic for Covid.
He claimed the title by simply 14 seconds over Welshman Thomas, with Portugal’s Joao Almeida one minute 15 seconds down on Roglic in third.
“It’s been emotional, it’s been a great race,” stated Thomas.
“I’ve really enjoyed it. I might be 37 but I feel at least 27.”
Final stage outcomes
- Mark Cavendish (GB/Astana) 2hrs 48mins 26secs
- Alex Kirsch (Lux/Trek-Segafredo) Same time
- Filippo Fiorelli (Ita/Green Project-Bardiana CSF)
- Alberto Dainese (Ita/Team DSM)
- Alexander Krieger (Ger/Alpecin-Deceuninck)
- Jake Stewart (GB/Groupama-FDJ)
- Fernando Gaviria (Col/Movistar)
- Michael Matthews (Aus/Team Jayco Alula)
- Arne Marit (Intermache-Circus-Wanty)
- Campbell Stewart (NZ/Team Jayco Alula)
Final common classification
- Primoz Roglic (Slo/Jumbo-Visma) 85hrs 29mins 02secs
- Geraint Thomas (GB/Ineos Grenadiers) +14secs
- Joao Almeida (Por/UAE Team Emirates) +1min 15secs
- Damiano Caruso (Ita/Bahrain Victorious) +4mins 40secs
- Thibaut Pinot (Fra/Groupama-FDJ) +5mins 43secs
- Thymen Arensman (Ned/Ineos Grenadiers) +6mins 05secs
- Edward Dunbar (Ire/Team Jayco Alula) +7mins 30secs
- Andreas Leknessund (Nor/Team DSM) +7mins 31secs
- Lennard Kamna (Ger/Bora-Hansgrohe) +7mins 46secs
- Laurens de Plus (Bel/Ineos Grenadiers) +9mins 08secs