ROME (AP) — Primoz Roglic expanded his Grand Tour portfolio by winning the Giro d’Italia on Sunday to add to his three Spanish Vuelta titles.
The former ski jumper became the first Slovenian rider to win the Giro and he did it in dramatic fashion, claiming the lead in the penultimate stage — taking the pink jersey from Geraint Thomas in Saturday’s mountain time trial.
It was the direct opposite of what happened in the 2020 Tour de France, when fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar took the lead from Roglic in another penultimate-day mountain time trial.
Riding a pink bike and wearing a pink helmet and pink socks, Roglic took it easy during the mostly ceremonious final stage, a 135-kilometer (84-mile) leg through the cobblestoned streets of Rome that concluded next to the Roman Forum.
Mark Cavendish, who recently announced that he will retire at the end of this season, won the 21st and final stage in a sprint finish.
Roglic, who rides for the Jumbo-Visma team, finished 14 seconds ahead of Thomas and 1 minute, 15 seconds ahead of Joao Almeida in the overall standings.
It’s the smallest finishing gap between the top riders in the Giro since Eddy Merckx won by 12 seconds ahead of Gianbattista Baronchelli in 1974.
Roglic’s time trial victory on Monte Lussari was his only stage win of the race.
Andrew Dampf is at https://twitter.com/AndrewDampf
Andrew Dampf, The Associated Press