Giro d’Italia 2022 : Stage 21 – Hindley makes history; Sobrero wins in Verona

It seems as if it was both just yesterday and an eternity since the 2022 Giro d’Italia kickstarted in Budapest with fans cheering Attila Valter‘s name, ending in Verona with fans chanting Vincenzo Nibali‘s name. No, Nibali did not magically win the Giro today, it was simply his last one.

Today was the day Jai Hindley swooshed through today’s concluding time trial, clad in pink and putting 18 months of heartbreak to bed, to win Australia’s first-ever Giro d’Italia maglia rosa. Richard Carapaz and Mikel Landa did enough to secure their second and third podium places, respectively.

Italian national time trial champion Matteo Sobrero scorched the rest of the field to take the final stage, finishing 23sec ahead of DSM’s Thymen Arensman and 40sec faster than Mathieu Van der Poel, to give Bike Exchange their second time trial win of the race (and their third stage race overall).

The Stage Winner

Okay, I know I’m not the most knowledgeable cycling fan around these days, but I’ve never heard of Matteo Sobrero. So, I feel the need to give some background on the man. Born in Alba, Italy in May 1997, he (probably) grew up envisioning himself as Marco Pantani, elegantly dancing himself up his local climb. Fast forward to May 2022, he is the national TT champion of Italy, races for Bike Exchange after a string of short stints at Dimension Data, NTT Procycling, and Astana, and has just won his second-ever professional bike race.

I really don’t have the interest or patience to do a deep dive on why Matteo’s helmet has a wolf head painted on it, but two things that I will note regarding it: 1) While still being gawd awful, it’s a tremendous improvement on the absurd “Wolfpack” thing that Quickstep has going on. 2) Given his team’s fierce allegiance to wolves, I wonder what Patrick Lefevere has to say about this helmet? Does it infringe on Quickstep’s trademark? Will Lefevere rant to the media and threaten litigation? Probably!

Here I go getting into Midge territory already, but did you know that Sobrero comes from a family of winemakers? I didn’t! Maybe we can expect winemaking content from him in a way similar that Jasper Stuyven does with his chocolate.

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