Giro d'Italia Stage 21
Turin to Milan
111.2 miles (2 Sprints)
1st – Iljo Keisse, Ettix-QuickStep - 4:18:37
2nd – Luke Durbridge, Orica-GreenEdge
3rd – Roger Kluge, IAM Cycling
Pink Jersey - Alberto Contador, Tinkoff-Saxo (+1:53)
King of the Mountains – Giovanni Visconti, Movistar
Sprint – Giacomo Nizzolo, Trek Factory Racing
Best Young Rider – Fabio Aru, Astana
Team Competition – Astana
The final stage of the 2015 edition of the Giro d'Italia was a celebration for Tinkoff Saxo leading man, Alberto Contador. It marks a second straight Grand Tour victory for the Spaniard following his success at the Vuelta at the end of 2014. The only question now - can he make it a record breaking third straight Grand Tour victory come July?
The race started as a leisurely pace and didn't pick up until the peloton entered Milan.
With 18.75 to go Ettix-QuickStep rider Iljo Keisse instigated a breakaway, which was quickly followed by Luke Durbridge of Orica-GreenEDGE. As it turned out this was to be the winning move of the day.
Timing is everything in cycling, and unfortunately many of the sprinters punctured shortly after the decisive move was made. This made for a very hard chase; through the tight streets of Milan the peloton was always going to be up against it.
Keisee and Durbridge were very strong and riding exceptionally well together until the final mile when the games began. The two toyed with each other trying to gain an advantage, but it just served to bring the peloton closer and closer.
Durbridge ended up leading Keisse into the final 500ft, at which point the Belgian rider jumped and went on to take the stage victory from Durbridge. The peloton came in only nine seconds later.
Alberto Contador celebrated a dominating three weeks of racing, only showing signs of fatigue once the race was won.
Astana's consistent display of power throughout the whole Giro did not go unrewarded, with the Kazakhstan owned group winning the team's competition. Their riders Fabio Aru and Mikel Landa finished second and third respectively on the GC podium, team leader Aru also taking out the Best Young Rider jersey.
Giovanni Visconti of Movistar won the KOM jersey, although the honours almost fell to Landa, who trailed Visconti by only three points.
Giacomo Nizzolo was a convincing winner of the Sprinter's jersey, no doubt very happy to take the title on home soil.
That brings to a close the 98th edition of the Giro d'Italia, and all eyes now move to Paris in July to see if Contador can do the triple.
Thanks again to Graham Watson for his terrific images throughout this Giro.