Luka Mezgec claimed Giant-Shimano’s third stage win of the Giro ahead of Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek) and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp).
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As expected, the whole peloton finished safely together, confirming Quintana as the overall winner.
Mezgec ends this Giro in the same manner Kittel began it, with a dominant sprint finish. The Slovenian demonstrated a devastating acceleration in the final hundred metres, coming from far behind to squeeze through a small gap on the right hand side of the road, and passing Nizzolo and Farrar to reach the line first.
Trek had controlled the sprint before Sebastian Chavanel brought his teammate Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) to the fore. Roberto Ferrari (Lampre) was the first to open his sprint but faded before Mezgec’s final bust to the line.
Fourth place – along with a few extra points earned in the intermediate sprint – was enough to seal the points jersey for Bouhanni.
A small incline in the final circuit was enough to encourage multiple attacks from opportunists looking for one last chance to win a stage. Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani-CSF), Francesco Bogiorno (Bardiani-CSF) and Daniel Oss (BMC) were among those to have a go, but none of their attacks lasted more than a few minutes.
Earlier in the stage, Maarten Tjallingii (Belkin) and the race’s first pink jersey wearer Svein Tuft (Orica-GreenEdge, one of their two riders still in the race) went out in the break, only to be caught less than hour later. Tuft later went out again with Lars Bak (Lotto-Belisol), but the pair were caught during the first lap of Trieste.
Giro d’Italia 2014, stage 21: Gemona-Trieste, 169km
1. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Giant-Shimano 4-23-58
2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory Racing
3. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp
4. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ
5. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida
6. Leonardo Duque (Col) Colombia
7. Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha
8. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
9. Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana
10. Iljo Keisse (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep all st
Final overall classification
1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar in 88-14-32
2. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 2-58
3. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 4-04
4. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar at 5-46
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r at 6-32
6. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at 7-04
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin at 11-00
8. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 11-51
9. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp at 13-35
10. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing at 15-49
Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ
Julian Arredondo (Col) Trek Factory Racing
Marco Bandiera (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
Ag2r La Mondiale
Images from the penultimate stage of the 2014 Giro d'Italia, won by Michael Rogers
Over-zealous fan ruins Francesco Bongiorno's chances of a stage win on Monte Zoncolan