Chris Froome joins Grand Tour Treble Club with Giro d'Italia win
Chris Froome joins Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Jacques Anquetil, Fausto Coppi, Miguel Indurain and Alberto Contador having won all three Grand Tours
Froome finished 46 seconds ahead of Dutch defending champion Tom Dumoulin in the overall standings, to become the first British rider to win the Italian race. Unimpressed by the route over Rome's historic cobbles on the final stahe, the peloton succeeded in getting the stage neutralised for general classification purposes and let the Sprinters shine.
His shock solo breakaway on Stage 19 on the slopes of the Colle delle Finestre will go down in history as one of the bravest attacks in modern cycling. His stage win was reminisant of the heroic era of Jacques Anquetil, Fausto Coppi, Eddy Merckx. It was bike racing the way that people like to remember.
For the majority of the race he seemed to have faded out of contention, slipping out of the general classification, nearly five minutes behind.
“There is no bigger goal for a pro cyclist than to go for all three grand tours consecutively,” he said. “When I thought about going for it, it was a big undertaking. I am not regretting it now.”
Froome added that he felt he was beginning to earn his place in the pantheon of greats. “I have done everything I can to enlighten races,” he said. “I have attacked on descents, in cross-winds, from 80km… I have come back from four-minute deficits. It feels as if I am ticking those boxes.”
Froome is planning to spend a few days at home in Monaco, with son Kellan and wife Michelle, who is seven months pregnant with their second child, before beginning his preparations for the Tour.
“The baby is due at the end of the Tour - hopefully just after,” he said, smiling. “It's a special time. I will be home for a few days to recover, before it all kicks off again. I will do some kind of race and definitely a few weeks at altitude.”
The attraction of becoming the first man in 20 years, since Marco Pantani in 1998, to win the Giro and the Tour de France in the same year is considerable, Foome will no doubt be on the start line of the Tour de France in July.
Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) out-sprinted Elia Viviani on the line in Rome
The last stage of the Corsa Rosa took place on the cobbled streets of Rome ,10 laps of 11.5 kilometres circuit. Early on in the stage Chris Froome (Sky), supported by other riders complained to the race organisersabout the safety of the circuit and proposed an early neutralisation.
It was decided that the stage would be neutralised at the third lap and soon after that a breakaway was formed including Neilands (Israel Cycling Academy), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Francisco Ventoso (BMC) and Christoph Juul Jensen (Mitchelton-Scott). Behind them, a peloton pulled by Quick-Step Floors followed them.
The favourites stayed behind to avoid any problems and let the sprinters' teams battle it out. At around 13 kilometres to go, the last escapees were caught by the peloton.
With around eight kilometres to go, four riders; Danny van Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo), Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin), Ryan Mullen (Trek-Segafredo) and Florian Senechal (Quick-Step Floors) attaked and were joined by Mattia Cattaneo (Androni Giocattoli).
AWith 3kms to go the attack was reeled in and Bora-hansgrohe took control at the front, setting the pace to put Sam Bennett in a good position to fight for the final sprint. Despite Quick-Step having a perfect lead out, Bennett stayed in Elia Viviani's slipstream and took the stage sprint in front of the Roman Colosseum, winning his third stage.
Chris Froome crossed the line 17 minutes later and took his third Grand Tour after winning the 2017 Tour de France and the 2017 Vuelta a España.
2018 Giro d'Italia Stage 21 Top 10
1 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe 2:50:49
2 Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
3 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team
4 Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
5 Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
6 Sacha Modolo (Ita) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
7 Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
8 Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
9 Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani CSF
10 Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
2018 Giro d'Italia Final Overall Classifciation
1 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 89:02:39
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:46
3 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:04:57
4 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team 0:05:44
5 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:08:03
6 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:11:50
7 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:13:01
8 George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:13:17
9 Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:14:18
10 Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:15:16
2018 Giro d'Italia Young Riders Classification
1 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 89:07:36
2 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team 0:00:47
3 Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:09:21
4 Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 1:18:07
5 Fausto Masnada (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 1:21:16
6 Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 1:23:50
7 Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain-Merida 1:35:21
8 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors 1:36:39
9 Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 1:58:09
10 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Bardiani CSF 2:03:58
2018 Giro d'Italia Points Classification
1 Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step Floors 341 pts
2 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe 282
3 Davide Ballerini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 147
4 Sacha Modolo (Ita) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 122
5 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 113
6 Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 111
7 Danny van Poppel (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 107
8 Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 103
9 Eugert Zhupa (Alb) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia 84
10 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 73
2018 Giro d'Italia Mountains Classification
1 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 125 pts
2 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Bardiani CSF 108
3 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 91
4 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott 79
5 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team 65
6 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 49
7 Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott 47
8 Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 42
9 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 40
10 Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 37