Giro d'Italia | Stage 21
LIVE UPDATES FROM STAGE 21
Geoghegan Hart: "It's an honour and privilege"
'A disaster!' - Rider hits out at rival team car in shocking moment in Giro d'Italia
The winner of the 103rd Giro has spoken...
"Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine that this would be possible when we started in Sicily. All my career I've dreamed about being top five or ten in a race of this stature, so I think it's going to take a bit of time for this to sink in."
Asked whether this would be the start of an illustrious career, Geoghegan Hart said: "I don't know and I don't really care. I'm just going to enjoy this. It's really incredible."
The 25-year-old then added, with grounded sincerity:
I'm going to stay the same person, I'm going to stay as professional as I believe I always have been, dedicated, waking up every day looking forward to riding my bike, loving my life and being grateful for the honour and the amazing position and privilege that I'm in to be in this position on this team and at these beautiful races.
They were tied for time this morning but in the end the two best riders of this year's Giro were split by 39 seconds.
What a haul for Ineos Grenadiers
Filippo Ganna's win today was his fourth and his team's seventh... Who'd have expected that when Thomas crashed out on day three?
Here's how Tao sealed his win
What scenes in Milan...
White becomes pink (and white)
Geoghegan Hart and Ganna are all smiles as they embrace in the finish zone. Ruben Guerreiro, the blue jersey, comes up and celebrates too - him and Tao were teammates before at Axeon Hagens Berman.
Tao Geoghegan wins the Giro d'Italia!
Jai Hindley gives it his all as he powers down the home straight in the maglia rosa which he wont be wearing on the podium later today... it's the 38th best time at 1:38.
Geoghegan Hart comes home
Bradley Wiggins is an emotional wreck as the Briton crossed the home to set the 13th best time - and it should be enough to win this Giro. The most unlikely of comeback stories for Ineos Grenadiers here - they lost Geraint Thomas, but went on to win seven stages and the maglia rosa with Tao Geoghegan Hart!
Now we wait... The 25-year-old looks shell-shocked...
Hindley well down at the intermediate check
The Australian is 22 seconds down on Geoghegan Hart at the 10.2km check. Poor chap, he may only be in pink for the very last 18 and a half minutes of the Giro...
Kelderman comes home
The Dutchman crosses the finish line to take the 11th best time at 54 seconds. He'll keep his place on the podium.
Geoghegan Hart 36 down at first check
He's passed through the intermediate check at 10.2km and he's 36 seconds down on his teammate Ganna - but that means nothing until Hindley comes through. The Ineos rider is in the white jersey today by default - because Almeida is in pink. In a few minutes, and four kilometres, he could have both.
CORRECTION: Tao faster than Jai!
My apologies - the on-screen graphic is confusing because it says +10 for Geoghegan Hart, and not -10. But apparently that's the way they're doing it. So the Briton is on course to winning the Giro...
Fourth best time for Almeida
The 22-year-old comes home to take provisional fourth place, 44 seconds down on Ganna. What a race he's had. It really came down to one mountain for him - the Stelvio. Sure, he lost a bit on the climb to Sestriere, but not a huge amount. Take the Stelvio off the menu and our champion was Almeida.
Hindley quicker... for now
After the first few kilometres, the live checks have the Australian five seconds quicker than the Briton! Many people thought he would be fresher... could he cause an upset?
Almeida going well
The Portuguese is 24 seconds down at the intermediate check for fifth place. With Bilbao 54 seconds down at that point, Almeida could move above Bilbao into fourth.
Hindley is off!
Jai Hindley could become the first Australian to win the Giro d'Italia today. He's down the ramp to start his race of truth. Form goes out the window - it's who has the stronger legs and the stronger mind after three gruelling weeks on the road.
Geoghegan Hart's push for pink
Down the ramp goes the double stage winner from East London. Jai Hindley will have to wait in a nervous wreck for three minutes before he can respond to whatever the Ineos rider has in his locker. Their head-to-head has Tao leading Jai 7-2 in time trials - but that all goes out the window today.
Kelderman on course for best Grand Tour finish
The Dutchman Wilco Kelderman enjoyed just two days in the maglia rosa - one spent largely in a bus, and the other being dropped by his teammate Jai Hindley - but he's still on course for his highest finish in a Grand Tour. The Sunweb rider will join Bora-Hansgrohe next year. He's down the ramp.
Almeida rolls down the ramp
Portugual's Joao Almeida spent 15 days in pink and is now 15 kilometres away from a sensational fifth place in his maiden Grand Tour. He's had a brilliant race, has the 22-year-old. A solid ride here and he could move up to fourth. Jakob Fuglsang was last to go, next up is Pello Bilbao - who deserves a tip of the hat given he already rode the Tour earlier this year.
Vincenzo's last goodbye?
This may be the last 20 minutes in Vincenzo Nibali's Giro career. The Italian veteran, a double champion in this race, is down the ramp to the applause of the Milanese. He's riding to preserve his 7th place on GC: Konrad is 19 seconds behind him...
Top 10 time
Hermann Pernsteiner, Fausto Masnada and Patrick Konrad are all on the course now, with the top 10 riders leaving at three-minute intervals. They are all guaranteed to keep their places in the top 10 unless something extraordinary happens to Pernsteiner to allow Pozzovivo back with a 1'32" swing.
Dennis' advice to teammate Geoghegan Hart
Speaking at the finish, Rohan Dennis was asked if he had any advice for his Ineos teammate. This is what he said:
Start fast – finish faster. I think just ride your own race. He's been pretty cool, calm and collected the whole Tour, so he just has to do it for one more day – or just 20 minutes. I'm sure he'll know what he has to do.
Wiggins' hart-felt message to Tao
Brad Wiggins reveals his admiration for Tao Geoghegan Hart on the latest episode of The Bradley Wiggins Show. Geoghegan Hart will ride for the Giro d’Italia title on Sunday, with just a fraction of a second separating him and Jai Hindley ahead of the decisive 15.7km individual time trial into Milan.
Majka and Pozzovivo on course
Rafal Majka and Domenico Pozzovivo tailed off a bit this week after a promising opening two weeks. The Pole is now 19 minutes down after cracking yesterday to drop out of the top 10, while the Italian veteran is now 11th despite being in the top five for a while. They're both on course now, so we're down to the top 10.
Half an hour till Tao time
A down-to-earth message from the young man who could become Britain's second ever Giro champion within the next hour.
Provisional third for Dennis
The man who changed the course of this Giro comes home to clock a time of 17:48. That's third for now, 32 seconds down on his teammate Ganna, after an average speed of 52.9kph. Bravo, my friend.
Dennis down at intermediate check
The Australian goes through the check 22 seconds down on his teammate - it's the fourth best time for now, behind Ganna, Chad Haga and Victor Campenaerts. A good effort given everything he did these past few days in the mountains.
Ganna done, now it's Dennis
Suposing Filippo Ganna doesn't win this stage - well, the only person who will stop him is this man, his teammate Rohan Dennis, who has just gone down the ramp. The former world champion has been a bit eclipsed by the Italian when it comes to TTs since moving to Ineos last winter. But the Australian was the stand-out rider of the final week, singlehandedly setting up Tao Geoghegan Hart for what could be the overall win here in Milan after some peerless performances on the Stelvio and to Sestriere.
Just wow. The Italian had already passed his two-minute man Jan Tratnik earlier on the road, and he almost pips his two-minute man Stéphane Rossetto to the finish line - coming home to end his debut Giro with what will no doubt be a fourth stage win. He's a full 26 seconds faster than Campenaerts, clocking a time of 17:16 after an average speed of 54.5kph.
Ganna on a mission
The Italian powerhouse looks unstoppable today. He's just gone through the intermediate check a whole 20 seconds faster than Campenaerts. It looks like the local lad from around the corner is going to take a fourth stage win in his debut Giro. What a performance.
Watching from the finish zone, the Belgian can only gesticulate in comedic fashion. A moment earlier, he admitted to Eurosport: "I think I have around 16 minutes left in the hot seat," on watching his rival's opening kilometre...
It's Ganna time
The warm up for the world champion is over - the man who could win his fourth stage win, and his Ineos Grenadiers team's seventh, is about to get going... And here he is. It's Ganna go go go!
Sagan's debut Giro is over
He won a stage in bullish fashion to end his long winless run but his debut Giro has now finished in a bit of a whimper, the former triple world champion coming home one and a half minute down in 12th place. He won't be returning to the podium at all - which is unusual for Sagan - because he did not win the points classification. Arnaud Demare was simply unbeatable there with his four stage wins.
New best time for Victor!
I know Victor Campenaerts is a TT specialist and the current Hour Record holder, but I cannot recall him ever winning a TT while I've been doing the live commentary. He always seems to have a glitch or a crash or a weather snafu. But today, the Belgian powerhouse has given himself a chance of victory by coming home nine seconds to the better of Miles Scotson. His is the new target time at the finish: 17:48.
Campenaerts on course
Another TT specialist has just got going - the Hour Record holder Victor Canpenaerts of NTT Pro Cycling. He's finishing this Giro quite strongly and was unlucky not to take a win a couple of days ago in Asti, where he was beaten to the line by Josef Cerny.
Monster ride from Scotson!
Wow, what a ride from Australia's Miles Scotson. He completely blows Dowsett's time out of the water, coming home to break the 18-minute barrier in an average speed of 52.5kph. Scotson, the track specialist from Groupama-FDJ, sets a new target time of 17:57 - a full 25 seconds quicker than the Briton, who didn't have long in the hot seat before being usurped by the Australian. A sign of things to come...?
Dowsett sets new best time
The British rider improved over the final third of this TT and turned his five-second deficit on teammate Brandle into a four-second lead at the finish. Dowsett sets the new best time at the finish: 18:22. It's good, but is it good enough for a second stage win in this race?
Adam Hansen's last ride
Perhaps on Mauro Vegni's instruction, the TV director doesn't catch the Australian veteran roll down the ramp on what will be his last day as a professional cyclist. This is the 39-year-old's 29th Grand Tour and his 560th day racing in cycling's biggest stage races. That's the best part of two years of his life spent on Grand Tours.
His final Grand Tour was a bit soured by the stance he was forced to take two days ago in the strike as the rider's union representative, which saw him clash with the Giro director Vegni, who promised retribution in Milan once the race was over...
Brandle bursts into the lead
The Austrian Matthias Brandle is the first to break the 19-minute mark. He takes 40 seconds off Alvaro Hodeg's target time at the finish after completing this course in 18:27 at an average speed of 51.1kph. But he'll be pushed all the way by his teammate Dowsett, who came through the intermediate check just five seconds down on Brandle.
First finisher: Dibben
The Briton comes home in a time of 19:29 to set the first time. Expect that to be beaten by Brandle soon. The Austrian was 40 seconds quicker than Dibben at the intermediate check at 10.3km.
Alex Dowsett rolls down the ramp
This will be like a 10-miler for the British TT specialist, Alex Dowsett. He won a stage earlier in this race after getting in the break with his Israel teammate Brandle; today they will be friendly rivals on the road. It will be interesting to compare their times at the split and the finish.
Arnaud Demare on the course
There's a hearty applause for the French champion, who had proved himself to be the best sprinter in the world right now with four stage wins in this race. Yesterday he got involved in the breakaway to win the intermediate sprint to secure the maglia ciclamino ahead of Peter Sagan.
First of the big names: Matthias Brandle
The Austrian from Israel Start-Up Nation gets his TT going and he's going to be one of the big rivals to Filippo Ganna today. And quite early on he shows some bold - or brash? - decision-making by taking an alternative time around a roundabout, before dodging some road furniture to keep his ride on track. That cut out a corner but it was very risky: I doubt whether Geoghegan Hart or Hindley will opt for that...
Ineos all smiles during recon ride...
You wouldn't think the maglia rosa was in the balance for this young man from East London...
Who has the edge - Jai or Tao?
For the first time in Grand Tour history, two riders enter the final day with the exact same time in the general classification. Ahead of the 15.7km race against the clock which will decide the outcome, we ask who's better equipped to take the final maglia rosa – Jai Hindley or Tao Geoghegan Hart.
Whoever wins the 103rd Giro will be a worthy winner; whoever loses it will be most unfortunate. Neither deserves it more than the other but one will be so cruelly exposed that it will be heart-breaking. Only later today will we know if it's Hart-breaking.
Jai Hindley and Tao Geoghegan Hart | Giro d'Italia 2020
Image credit: Getty Images
First rider: Jonathan Dibben
133rd on GC, Britain's Jonathan Dibben of Lotto Soudal is the first man down the ramp. Unless he's three minutes quicker than Guy Sagiv, the second man down the ramp, the 26-year-old Grand Tour debutant should retain the maglia nera - the notional black jersey given to the last man on GC.
Dibben is 6:12:44 behind Hindley and compatriot Geoghegan Hart on GC after 20 stages. The riders are leaving at minute intervals at the moment. The top 10 will leave at three-minute intervals with Geoghegan Hart going at 16:09 CET and Hindley at 16:12 CET.
Around 19 nerve-racking minutes of suspense await
Okay, Filippo Ganna will probably mop this up in around 17 minutes, but for the top two - neither of whom are notable time triallists - it could well take a minute or so more than the Italian superstar.
Ciao ragazzi! Good afternoon, cycling fans...
And welcome to live coverage of this all-important decisive final time trial - a pan-flat 15.7km individual dash against the clock into Milan. With the top two riders of this race - Jai Hindley and Tao Geoghegan Hart - tied at the top, it's going to be an historic day in Italy. This is the first time in history that a Grand Tour has come down to the wire with two riders level on time ahead of the final stage.
Bradley Wiggins' open letter to Tao Geoghegan Hart
Bradley Wiggins read an open letter to Tao Geoghegan Hart ahead of the Ineos Grenadiers rider’s showdown at the Giro d’Italia, telling him "you are now the superstar".
Geoghegan Hart is the favourite to win a shock title in Italy after his moved him level on time with Jai Hindley (Team Sunweb) in the maglia rosa.
The 25-year-old will be the penultimate rider to set off on the 16.5km route between Cernusco di Naviglio and Milan, with Hindley following to wrap up one of the most dramatic Grand Tours in history.
And Wiggins, speaking on the latest episode of his Eurosport podcast, urged him to "just empty it" as he reflected on his own time trial triumph that led to him becoming the first Brit to win the Tour de France in 2012.
HOW TO WATCH THE GIRO D'ITALIA LIVE – TV & LIVE STREAMING
The 103rd edition of the Giro d'Italia is live on Eurosport, eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport App.
You can watch the entire race on digital platforms for £6.99 (monthly subscription), while an annual pass is £39.99.
Each day Eurosport.co.uk will stream uninterrupted coverage of each stage. We will also have rolling coverage online on the website and our social channels.
And don't forget, we are bringing you daily podcasts from the Bradley Wiggins Show - check in with your podcast platform of choice each evening.
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