Race report: Fairytale farewell for Cav as Roglič wins the Giro

Mark Cavendish won his last ever Giro d'Italia stage with a little help from old friends.

Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan) sprints to stage 21 victory at the 2023 Giro d’Italia. Photo: © Cor Vos

Kit Nicholson
by Kit Nicholson 28.05.2023 Photography by
Cor Vos
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The Giro d’Italia drew to a close on the historic roads of Rome, the ‘Eternal City’ setting the stage for a dazzling curtain call after three attritional weeks of racing. As is so often the way, the run into the city centre had a festive feel before a small breakaway got a head start in the finishing circuits. But inevitably it all came down to a bunch gallop, and it was won by Mark Cavendish (Astana-Qazaqstan).

All the GC riders finished safely to ink the standings pencilled in after stage 20, meaning Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) has sealed his first Giro title, with Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) and João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) joining him on the podium in second and third.

Brief stage results:

Final GC:

  1. Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma)
  2. Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) +14s
  3. João Almeida (UAE Emirates) +1:15
  4. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) +4:40
  5. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +5:43

GC debrief:

The early part of the stage was reserved for prosecco, conversation and photo ops.


Bonus teammate for Cav:

Geraint Thomas: “I thought I’d help a brother out.”

Quote of the day:

Cav was his usual pointed self in his stage winner’s interview, but he couldn’t hide his utter delight at having won his last Giro stage, and with former teammate Thomas’s help along with his relatively new Astana Qazaqstan colleagues.

“I’m super happy. It was a long, hard slog to get here to the end of the Giro, but we got close a couple of times before, and my boys did incredible – and my friends did incredible. I just had some great friends today, you know. Long time friends… Pretty emotional, to be fair.

“My first Grand Tour victory was in 2008 at the Giro, down in Reggio Calabria. So to win here in Rome, it’s beautiful. That’s a bucket-list sprint to be able to do, outside the Colosseum. I’m just so happy. So happy.”

Podium moment:

Like father, like son. Lev Roglič has evidently been practising his dad’s trademark celebration.

Social media review:

Hugs all round for Cav after winning his last-ever Giro stage.

First and last on GC share a moment.

Roglič has had quite a season (so far) and quite a career.

He might not have got a stage win, but boy, did he come close, so Israel-Premier Tech organised a special surprise for the Canadian now-superstar, Derek Gee.

Thibaut Pinot said goodbye to his final Giro d’Italia with a trip to the podium having won the maglia azzurra of mountains classification winner.

Reading list:

Naturally swept up in the extraordinary drama that took place a few kilometres from the Slovenian border on stage 20 – as we all were – Kate Wagner was on hand to describe exactly what Roglič’s Giro victory means and how it feels, as only she can.

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