Thus ends, on the magical set of an almost cinematic Rome, with the president Sergio Mattarella applauding the winning sprint of Mark Cavendish, a long-time British sprinter, the Giro d'Italia.
A very particular Giro, which started quietly but exploded in the final first with the exploit of Primoz Roglic on Monte Lussari, where he snatched the pink jersey from Thomas, and then with this extraordinary epilogue in the capital culminating in the dash of Cavendish, a purebred sprinter , who thus signs his 17th victory in the pink race, a worthy finale to a very long career.
Suffice it to say that 15 years have passed since his first success in the Giro, centered in Catanzaro in 2008. This too is a record of longevity, even snatched from the legendary Gino Bartali. Cavendish, 38 years old, very attached to Italy and Tuscany, incredulous and almost in tears, announced his retirement. In the sprint, characterized by a fall of 7 runners at 300 meters, Cavendish beat the Luxembourgian Kirsch and the Sicilian Fiorelli. But center stage. and of the party, naturally goes to Primoz Roglic, on the highest podium, flanked by Geraint Thomas and Joao Almeida, his most tenacious opponents.
And so here he is, Roglic, receiving the "Senza fine" trophy from Mattarella, the prize that awaits the winner. In short, amidst smiles and regrets, and that little bit of emotion that every farewell always carries with it, this Giro d'Italia also ends, the 106th of its long history that began in 1909 and was only interrupted by the war.
What Giro was it? Clearly, with a whitewash ending like the one on Monte Lussari, every previous judgment is inevitably modified and readapted. Even his exhausting wait-and-see attitude (five mountain stages with four sprints), with that continuous postponing of the showdown, served to increase the explosiveness of Roglic's success, the first Slovenian to conquer the pink race. The scenery is also beautiful, at the top of the sanctuary of the peoples, above Tarvisio, where three borders (Italy, Slovenia and Austria) almost touch. Let's say that after twenty stages of melina, this final with a bang is the best possible. Like after some dull fireworks, and everyone's going home, comes a phantasmagorical close of applause. And also the Roman conclusion, with President Mattarella offering Roglic the pink jersey in the unique setting of the Eternal City (a formidable spot in the world after the devastating flood in Romagna), is the best epilogue that could be offered to the race.