Nairo Quintana (Movistar) became the first Colombian to win the Giro d’Italia on Sunday as the 97th edition of the race concluded in Trieste.
Luka Mezgec (Giant-Shimano) sprinted to victory in the 21st and final stage, a largely flat, 172km parade from Gemonda to Trieste, ahead of Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp).
“I won close to home today, I am so happy. There was a lot of Slovenians today,” said Mezgec. “I was very nervous today. It was great work today by Giant-Shimano, and we worked together perfectly until the end. I am so happy to win this stage for my team.”
In the final standings, Quintana prevailed by 2:58 over runner-up Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) with Fabio Aru (Astana) third at 4:04.
“Now that the final finish line is crossed, I am so happy,” said Quintana, who also took the white jersey awarded to the best young rider. “I had the support of my team, and the support of my nation. I am very content to win this Giro. It was never easy, but the team backed me in all the hard moments.”
Uran was gracious in defeat, though like many he wondered what might have been.
“I have to be happy with second. We cannot change what happened in the race. Who knows what might have happened?” he said. “I am content with my Giro. I proved I can be competitive as a leader of a team in a grand tour. Maybe next time I can come back and win.”