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Hindley becomes Australia's first-ever Giro d'Italia winner

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By Funnyvot Auditorial - - 5 Mins Read
Jai Hindley (BORA-hansgrohe) won the Tour of Italy overall, while Matteo Sobrero (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) won the individual time-trial on stage 21 in Verona. Hindley makes history by becoming the first Australian to win the Giro, avenging his brutal second-place result two years ago. After dropping Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) on the agonizingly steep slopes of the Marmolada yesterday, the 26-year-old had about a minute and a half on the Ecuadorian and one hand on the Endless Trophy heading into today's time-trial. With his victory in this year's Giro d'Italia, Jai Hindley has become the second Australian to win one of cycling's Grand Tours. Hindley won the 17.4km individual time trial over the streets of Verona by one minute and 18 seconds, beating off pre-race favorite Richard Carapaz. Hindley's 15th-place performance was his best in a Grand Tour individual time trial. Going into the last stage, the 26-year-old had a one-minute 25-second lead over his Ecuadorian opponent. "It's a lovely feeling," Hindley exclaimed as he entered the old Arena di Verona. "There were a lot of mixed feelings today." "To take the win is really incredible." Hindley beats his previous second-place performance from 2020 to become the first Australian to win the Giro in its 105th edition. His triumph makes him the only Australian to win a Grand Tour, joining fellow countryman Cadel Evans, who made history by winning the 2011 Tour de France. When asked what it meant to be the first Australian to win the Giro d'Italia, Hindley choked up. "Man, it's incredible," Hindley added. "I'm glad to be an Australian and delighted to bring this home." Even as Advance Australia Fair was performed in the old Roman amphitheater, Hindley held his emotions in check, beaming as he sprayed prosecco about the stage before his colleagues surrounded him. https://twitter.com/giroditalia/status/1530937417766682624?s=20&t=6xDdTBGDo-J7ugYBXPLyVw Hindley stated on Saturday that he would "die for the jersey," but it never came down to that, with the Australian giving up just one second to Carapaz at the halfway mark, a deficit that only extended to seven seconds at the finish. "I was getting updates, and I was feeling quite well on the bike," he said. "To be honest, that was a fantastic feeling." Hindley proved his pink jersey credentials by beating all the pre-race favorites to the summit of the Blockhaus climb on stage nine. That maintained him in touch with Carapaz throughout the crucial third week of the race, bringing him to within three seconds of the Ineos-Grenadiers rider after stage 16 – the closest the two leaders have been in a Giro since 1963. Hindley had a one-minute, 25-second advantage over Carapaz heading into Sunday's final time trial, courtesy to a remarkable ride on Saturday in which he dropped his competitor in the last parts of the Passo Fedaia climb. [caption id="attachment_37558" align="aligncenter" width="645"] Jai Hindley saluted the crowd at the Arena di Verona having claimed overall victory.[/caption] Despite that apparent edge, history is riddled with tales of race leaders faltering in a crucial time trial, including himself at the 2020 Giro. Hindley was in the leader's pink jersey at this stage two years ago, only to finish second by 39 seconds in the final time trial behind Tao Geoghegan Hart. In 2020, however, Hindley and Hart were on time, so any upset would be more akin to Greg Lemond's disputed passage of Lauren Fignon in the 1989 Tour de France or Primo Rogli's dramatic capitulation in the 2020 Tour — despite the riders having a lead of less than a minute in both situations. Hindley, on the other hand, was spared such a nightmare, allowing only seven seconds of his lead to be taken on the day. Italian time trial champion Matteo Sobrero claimed the final stage victory, completing the course in 22 minutes, 24 seconds.