Canadian Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) won the 2012 Giro d’Italia on Sunday after overhauling former race leader Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) in the final time trial in Milan.
Hesjedal started the day 31 seconds adrift of Rodriguez after Saturday’s stage to Passo dello Stelvio. Hesjedal recovered sufficiently overnight to make up the time deficit on Rodriguez and give Canada its first ever overall win in a Grand Tour – and the first for the Garmin team.
Rodriguez finished in second place overall just 16 seconds behind Hesjedal after losing 47 seconds to the Canadian in Milan.
Saturday’s stage winner Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) put in another strong ride to come fifth on the stage and round out the podium in third overall at one minute and 39 seconds.
Italy failed to put a rider in the top three overall, with Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) and Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) in fourth and fifth overall respectively.
BMC bookends Giro with stage wins
It wasn’t all bad news for the home nation – Marco Pinotti gave his BMC team its second stage win in the race, after American team-mate Taylor Phinney won the opening time trial. Phinney couldn’t reproduce the same ride that saw him take the pink jersey in Denmark three weeks ago, finishing in 16th after he apparently took a diversion off the course.
Welshman Geraint Thomas (Sky) showed that three weeks of hard racing hadn’t dulled his legs, repeating his second place from stage one at 39 seconds. New Zealander Jesse Sergent came third, 53 seconds adrift of Pinotti.
Brit Ian Stannard (Sky) finished just outside the stage top ten in 11th, one minute and 24 seconds behind Pinotti.
Rodriguez’s consolation for losing out on the overall win was to take the points classification, beating triple stage winner Mark Cavendish (Sky) by just one point.
Colombian Rigoberto Uran (Sky) polished off a strong performance in the Giro, placing seventh overall and securing the white jersey of best young rider. Compatriot and Sky team-mate Sergio Henao finished ninth overall. Two to watch in future Grand Tours.
Matteo Rabottini (Farnese Vini) finished atop the mountains classification.
Giro d’Italia 2012, stage 21: Milan to Milan, 28km ITT
1. Marco Pinotti (Ita) BMC Racing in 33-06
2. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky at 39 secs
3. Jesse Sergent (NZl) RadoShack-Nissan at 53 secs
4. Alex Rasmussen (Den) Garmin-Barracuda at 1-00
5. Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM at 1-01
6. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Barracuda at 1-09
7. Gustav Erik Larsson (Swe) Vacansoleil-DCM at 1-14
8. Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale at 1-15
9. Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-GreenEdge at 1-22
10. Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 1-23
11. Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky at 1-24
26. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 1-56
55. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky at 2-46
Final overall classification
1. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Barracuda in 91-39-02
2. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 16 secs
3. Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM at 1-39
4. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-ISD at 2-05
5. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 3-44
6. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-ISD at 4-40
7. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Sky at 5-57
8. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox at 6-28
9. Luis Henao (Col) Sky at 7-50
10. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 8-08
80. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky at 2-59-32
132. Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky at 4-20-11
145. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky at 4-46-19
Geraint Thomas, second on the stage
Stage winner Marco Pinotti
Ryder Hesjedal, overall winner
Ryder Hesjedal wins (centre), Joaquin Rodriguez second (left) and Thomas De Gendt third (right)
Giro d’Italia 2012: Latest news
Giro d’Italia 2012: Live coverage
Giro d’Italia 2012: Stage reports
Stage 20: De Gendt conquers Stelvio to win stage
Stage 19: Kreuziger bounces back with Giro stage win
Stage 18: Guardini beats Cavendish in final Giro sprint
Stage 17: Rodriguez wins stage to consolidate lead
Stage 16: Izagirre claims Basque breakaway victory
Stage 15: Rabottini takes tough win in Giro
Stage 14: Amador wins Giro’s first high mountain stage as Hesjedal reclaims lead
Stage 13: Cavendish makes it three
Stage 12: Bak attacks to win
Stage 11: Ferrari wins Giro stage on ride to redemption
Stage 10: Rodriguez wins thrilling finale to take lead
Stage nine: Ventoso wins in Frosinone as Goss and Cavendish fall
Stage eight: Pozzovivo takes another Giro win
Stage seven: Hesjedal moves into Giro lead
Stage six: Rubiano solos to epic Giro stage win
Stage five: Cavendish bounces back for another stage win
Stage four: Garmin-Barracuda win TTT to take lead
Stage three: Goss wins in Horsens as Cavendish and Phinney crash
Stage two: Cavendish wins in Herning
Stage one: Phinney wins time trial
Giro d’Italia 2012: Photo galleries
Giro d’Italia 2012: Blogs
Charly Wegelius’ Giro blog: Conserving energy for the final week
Charly Wegelius’ Giro blog: Holding on to the lead
Charly Wegelius’ Giro blog: Getting the team time trial right
Giro moto blog: Hurray for rest day
Giro moto blog: Stage 10
Giro d’Italia 2012: Teams and riders
Giro d’Italia 2012: TV guide