Jai Hindley looks at a golden trophy with gold confetti behind him

Jai Hindley makes history, wins the Giro d’Italia

Jai Hindley is the second Australian to win one of cycling’s Grand Tours and win this year’s Giro d’Italia.

Hindley held off pre-race favorite Richard Carapaz in Sunday’s 17.4km individual time trial through the streets of Verona to claim the overall win by one minute and 18 seconds.

His 15th place finish was Hindley’s best individual time trial in a Grand Tour.

The 26-year-old had a one-minute, 25-second lead over his Ecuadorian rival en route to the final stage.

“It’s a wonderful feeling,” Hindley said immediately after entering the historic Arena di Verona.

“There were a lot of emotions today.

“Taking the win is really unbelievable.”

Hindley is the first Australian to win the Giro in the 105th edition, improving on his own second place from 2020.

His win puts him alongside compatriot Cadel Evans, who made history when he won the 2011 Tour de France, as the only two Australians to win a Grand Tour.

Jai Hindley has come out one better than in 2020.Getty Images: Tim de Waele

Hindley choked when asked what it meant to be the first Australian to win the Giro d’Italia.

“He really is an incredible man,” Hindley said.

Hindley kept his emotions in check even as Advance Australia Fair was played in the ancient Roman amphitheater, beaming as he sprayed prosecco across the stage before his teammates surrounded him.

On Saturday, Hindley said he would “die for the jersey” but it never came to be, with the Australian giving up just one second from Carapaz halfway through the checkpoint, trailing just seven seconds at the finish.

“I got updates, I felt pretty good on the bike, I wasn’t fighting it,” he said.

“It was an incredible feeling, honestly.”

Hindley underlined his pink jersey credentials all the way back in stage nine by beating all the pre-race favorites to the top of the Blockhaus climb

That kept him in touch with Carapaz in the decisive third week of the race, to within three seconds of the Ineos-Grenadiers rider after stage 16 – being the closest to the two leaders since 1963 in a Giro at such a late stage in the race.

However, thanks to a beautiful ride on Saturday where he dropped his rival in the final stage of the Passo Fedaia climbHindley carried a one-minute, 25-second lead over Carapaz in Sunday’s final test against the clock.

Jai Hindley holds up his hand and smiles in front of a black background
Jai Hindley greeted the crowd at the Arena di Verona after they took the overall win.Getty Images: Tim de Waele

Despite that seemingly healthy advantage, history is littered with examples of race leaders breaking loose in a decisive time trial – including himself in the 2020 Giro.

Hindley was in the pink leader’s jersey in this stage two years agoonly to loses in the final time trial to Tao Geoghegan Hart and finishes second by just 39 seconds

Hindley and Hart were on time for 2020, however, meaning any disruption would be more reminiscent of Greg Lemond’s controversial passing of Lauren Fignon at the 1989 Tour de France or Primož Roglič’s stunning capitulation at the 2020 Tour — although in both cases the riders had a lead of less than a minute.

There would be no such nightmare for the Western Australian, however, as Hindley allowed only seven seconds of his lead on the day.

“I had in mind what was happening in 2020,” Hindley said.

Italian time trial champion Matteo Sobrero took the last stage win and completed the course in 22 minutes and 24 seconds.

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