Joy Hindley completed what he missed for a very short time two years ago by sealing the overall win at Giro d’Italia on Sunday – becoming the first Australian rider to win the Italian Grand Tour.
Hindley is 1 minute, 18 seconds ahead of 2019 champion Richard Carapaz after the last stand-alone trial, which ended next to the Roman Amphitheater Verona Arena.
The win was even sweeter for Hindley as he entered the finals of the 2020 Gyro after the pink jersey to become the runner-up of Tao Geogagan Hart. Hindley said the second-place finisher chased him for months.
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“What happened in 2020 was on my mind and I will not let it happen again,” Hindley said.
Carapaz was seven seconds ahead of Hindley in the time trial but Hindley entered the final day with a 1:25 advantage.
“I was getting updates and I was feeling pretty good about the bike,” Hindley said.
Hindley battled injury and illness last year and withdrew in the mid-2021 due to a saddle calcite.
“Last year was really, really hard and I fought really hard to get back here,” Hindley said. “But I didn’t know I would fight to win.”
Limited due to COVID-19 regulations, Hindley did not go home to Perth, Australia before the epidemic.
“Two days ago I heard my parents were coming to an end,” Hindley said. “I haven’t seen them since the beginning of 2020 so it was really special today. At the end of the year I’ll be back home and enjoy every minute of it.”
There is nothing wrong with Bora-Hansgrohe riders in this year’s race. Hindley won Stage 9 which ended with a punitive climb to the blockhouse, he got a few seconds in the carapace over the legendary Mortirolo Pass in the 16th round, then he took the lead in the final on Saturday, eliminating his overall rivals. Terrible Marmolada on the climb.
Altogether, almost all stages of the Hindley climb were better or more closely matched to the carapace.
Hindley’s climbing skills were already evident in 2020 when he won the Giro “Queen” stage at the Stelvio Pass.
Now, Hindley, 26, has joined 2011 Tour de France champion Cadel Evans, the only Australian to win a Grand Tour.
Carapaz, an Ecuadorian who won Olympic gold last year and was celebrating his 29th birthday on Sunday, was a favorite of the pre-race.
Spanish rider Michel Landa is third overall, 3:24 behind, and Vincenzo Nibali, a 37-year-old two-time Giro champion who plans to retire at the end of the season, is fourth behind 9:02.
Hindley, wearing an aerodynamic pink-black helmet to go with his pink leader jersey, smiled a few times after crossing the finish line.
For the rest of the year, Hindley said he would consider racing the Spanish vulture then hoping to ride to his home world championships in Olongapo in September. He probably won’t compete in the Tour de France.
Italian rider Matteo Sobrero won the 17.4-kilometer (11-mile) time trial, following a technical path that included a fourth-class ascent and subsequent landing, in 22 minutes, 24.54 seconds.
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