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Giro d'Italia 2019: Richard Carapaz wins historic Maglia Rosa after Stage 21 in Verona

Joe Robinson
2 Jun 2019

A memorable first Grand Tour for Ecuador as Chad Haga shocks favourites to win final Verona time trial

Movistar's Richard Carapaz secured a historic Giro d'Italia victory as he became the first Ecuadorian to win a Grand Tour.

Carapaz safely crossed the finishing line of Stage 21's individual time trial in Verona to beat home favourite Vincenzo Nibali to a first pink jersey.

Nibali secured second and an 11th Grand Tour podium while Primoz Roglic managed to leapfrog Mikel Landa by eight seconds to take third on General Classification.

Stage honours went to an emotional Chad Haga of Team Sunweb whose extensive preparation for the 17km course paid off. Navigating the tricky course in a time 22 minutes 7 seconds, the American beat pre-race favourite Victor Campenaerts by four seconds.

The race's remaining jerseys were also decided in the city of Shakespeare.

The Maglia Ciclamino for best sprinter went to double stage winner Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe), who beat Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) by 226 points to 213.

The Maglia Blanco of the best young rider was snapped up by Miguel Angel Lopez, beating Pavel Sivakov (Team Ineos) and Hugh Carthy (Education First). The mountain's Maglia Azzurra was dominated by Gulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) who had double the points of his closest rival Fausto Masnada.

Carapaz and Landa made sure Movistar took the team classification as 900kms in the break meant Damiano Cima took the breakaway classification with Sho Hatsuyama of Nippo-Vini taking the Maglia Nera of last on General Classification.

In fair Verona

So this was it, the final stage of the 2019 Giro d'Italia, a 17km time trial around the beautiful Veneto city that Shakespeare admired so much he used as the setting for The Two Gentleman of Verona and Romeo and Juliet.

With a hill slap, bang in the middle, the winner of the final day would have to mix time trialling ability with robustness having endured a tough three weeks of racing.

Barring disaster, the Maglia Rosa was forgone conclusion. It belonged to Movistar's Richard Carapaz who held a 1 minute 54 gap to Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) in second place.

It was a historic moment as Carapz became the first Ecuadorian to ever win a Grand Tour.

The small football-mad nation of 17 million people had a new hero to cheer and to celebrate, the nation's president Lenin Moreno had paid for the final stage to be aired on free television.

Besides the stage winner, the time trial would also decide the final podium. Mikel Landa sat in third but only 23 seconds ahead of Primoz Roglic, a bridgeable gap for the Slovenian.

The favourite for the stage was recent Hour Record breaker Victor Campenaerts of Lotto Soudal. He did what was expected, setting the fastest time of 22.11.

However, it was not good enough, as young American Chad Haga (Team Sunweb) went quicker by four seconds in a time of 22.07, a time that would probably only be threatened by Roglic.

Roglic was quick, but not quick enough falling 26 seconds short of Haga's winning time but enough to overtake Landa and secure a first Grand Tour podium finish for the Slovenian.

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