At the end of a Giro d’Italia which has revelled in its daily unpredictability, it was fitting that the concluding sprinters’ stage instead came down to a straight mano a mano between two of the peloton’s unsung powerhouses. Iljo Keisse finally delivered something for his Etixx-Quick Step team to celebrate at the end of a lacklustre three weeks, edging out Luke Durbridge who narrowly failed to provide a victory that would have neatly bookended a successful race for Orica-GreenEDGE, the dominant squad in the opening stages.
Alberto Contador finished safely to confirm his seventh grand tour victory. He joins Bernard Hinault as the only rider to have won all three grand tours at least twice.
Wow, what a race the 2015 Giro this has been! 3,317 kilometres through landscapes beautiful enough to make you weep with jealously. 20 stages of fierce racing, and barely one without some excitement or other. It really doesn’t seem that long ago since the teams rolled off the pink platform in San Lorenzo al Mare, and yet here we are – la basta. Expect pink and prosecco – lots, there can never be enough.
Fabio Aru won his second stage in as many days at Sestriere, but the real story came in Alberto Contador‘s struggle behind. The Spaniard was dropped on the Colle delle Finestre, though successfully limited his losses to maintain his position atop the general classification.