Giacomo Nizzolo: My goal was to finish second, maybe that’s the trick to victory

The Italian sprinter achieved his dream, after 11 second-place finishes in the Giro d’Italia

Giacomo Nizzolo celebrates his win at the Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Giacomo Nizzolo has achieved his dream of winning a stage in the Giro d’Italia.

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.

>>> 'The helmet saved my life' - Matej Mohorič after his dramatic crash at the Giro d'Italia 2021

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)

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.