Team Sky‘s Chris Froome clinched his first Giro d’Italia victory on Saturday, holding off attacks from his rival Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) on the final summit finish of the race at Cervinia on stage 20. Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott) took the stage victory from the breakaway on his 34th birthday, his third career win at the Giro d’Italia, salvaging something from a miserable closing weekend for his team.
Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) recovered from a mechanical to finish second, 2:16 behind, while Felix Grosschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) rounded off the podium in third, 2:42 down.
Miguel Ángel López (Astana) moved up to third overall, benefitting from an Alpine implosion from Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), who cracked in a similar manner to Nieve’s teammate Simon Yates on the Colle delle Finestre 24 hours previously.
Pinot aside, there was a wait for the day’s GC action – in contrast to Friday. Dumoulin, the 2017 champion, made his move midway up the final climb to Cervinia, but despite his best efforts, he couldn’t manufacture any gaps to the maglia rosa wearer Froome, and was even dropped himself at one point.
A combination of exhaustion from the efforts of the previous stage to Bardonecchia, as well as the comparatively shallow slopes on the road to Cervinia, meant that Dumoulin’s slim chances of over-hauling the 40-second gap evaporated to nothing.
The result means that Froome will – barring any disaster tomorrow – join Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault as the only riders to hold the trophy in all three Grand Tours at the same time. It will come with an asterisk though, as Froome’s pending salbutamol case could mean that both his Giro and 2017 Vuelta a España victories are taken away.
How it happened
Pinot runs out of gas
The big finale
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