The Italian sprinter has been chasing victory in his home Grand Tour since his debut back in 2012, but had never finished any better than second place.
Nizzolo’s string of podiums had become one of the enduring storylines from the 2021 Giro, as he now has 11 second-place finishes in Giro stages since the start of his career.
But on stage 13 into Verona, Nizzolo (Qhubeka-Assos) took his long-awaited victory, saying after the stage that had been aiming for another second-place finish.
The 32-year-old European champion said: “Finally! As I said this morning my goal was to be second, maybe that was the trick to victory. My only goal today was to sprint and not get blocked in the final so I went quite a long way in the wind, but I had good legs and it worked out.”
Nizzolo won his first Grand Tour stage in style in Verona, as he was forced to chase down a late solo attack from his compatriot Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) inside the final kilometre.
But Nizzolo was by far the fastest sprinter he fired past Affini right at the line to secure the biggest win of his career.
Nizzolo added: “[Affini] did a great effort so congress to him, but I’m so happy today.
“We took the lead because of the roundabouts. I know it was quite early but I wanted to be there, safe out of trouble and it worked out.
“[It means] A lot. As I said I don’t think my value changed because of my win in the Giro, but it’s nice.”
Nizzolo has already finished on the podium twice in this year’s Giro, narrowly missing out on the first road stage of the race into Novara as Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) won the sprint, and again in Cattolica on stage five when Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) powered from behind to pass Nizzolo at the line.
After winning the stage, Nizzolo also sits second in the points classification, putting him in a strong position to win a potential third maglia ciclamino, currently just 10 points behind leader Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)
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