Hindley on brink of first Giro title after stealing pink jersey from Carapaz

Published May 29, 2022
THE PACK cycles down the Pordoi pass during the 20th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Saturday.
—AFP
THE PACK cycles down the Pordoi pass during the 20th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Saturday. —AFP

MARMOLADA: Jai Hindley is on the brink of his first Giro d’Italia title after stealing the pink jersey on the 20th and final mountainous stage, a 167-kilometre ride from Belluno to Marmolada, on Saturday, as local rider Alessandro Covi took the stage win.

Colombian Richard Carapaz, looking for his second Giro title, held a slender three-second lead in the general classification over Hindley coming into the penultimate stage, with just Sunday’s time trial left to decide the 2022 champion.

Spaniard Mikel Landa, third in the general classification, stayed at the head of the peloton with his Bahrain Victorious team mates as they climbed the Passo Pordoi — the highest point of the Giro.

With Covi of UAE Team Emirates well clear out in front, Carapaz was looking comfortable going into the gruelling final Passo Fedaia climb, as Ineos Grenadiers domestique Pavel Sivakov led the peloton with four kilometres to go, dragging Carapaz with him.

Hindley, who finished second in the Giro in 2020, knew he had to make a move if he was to be in with a chance of becoming the first Australian Giro champion, pushing on with two kilometres to go, with Carapaz struggling to keep pace.

As Covi won his first Grand Tour stage, Hindley of BoraHansgrohe left Carapaz for dead, to finish well clear of the 2019 champion to give him a one minute and 25 second advantage going into Sunday’s 17.1-kilometere time trial in Verona where, barring a disaster, Hindley can make history.

“I knew this would be the crucial stage of the race, with the brutal finish,” Hindley said. “I knew if you had the legs you can make a difference.

“We stayed patient until today, and it is amazing. We could not have timed it better. When I heard Carapaz was dropping down, I just went all out. We will see how it goes tomorrow, it is always hard to say how a time trial will go.”

Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2022

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