Giro d’Italia: Mark Cavendish wins final stage while Primoz Roglic secures first title

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Mark Cavendish celebrates winning the final stage of the 2023 Giro d'Italia
Astana rider Mark Cavendish coasted past his rivals to claim victory

Mark Cavendish sprinted to victory in his final Giro d’Italia stage as Primoz Roglic secured the overall title.

Slovenia’s Roglic finished safely in the peloton to confirm his first Giro title, with Geraint Thomas second.

Thomas helped lead out Cavendish in the final stages, with the pair sharing an emotional embrace after the finish.

Astana rider Cavendish maintained his record of winning at least one stage in each of the seven editions of the Giro he has raced.

His first victory of the season takes his overall professional win tally to 162 and he now has 54 stage wins in cycling’s three Grand Tours.

Cavendish will turn his attention to extending that record at this year’s Tour de France, where he will attempt to take the all-time stage win record outright.

The Manxman is currently level with the legendary Eddy Merckx on 34 Tour stage wins.

While his team were unable to give him a cohesive leadout here, Cavendish showed all his nous, aided by Ineos Grenadiers’ Thomas, to position himself perfectly on the home straight.

He coasted past Fernando Gaviria and Alex Kirsch and was firmly on course for the win even before a crash behind him.

Kirsch held on for second, with Filippo Fiorelli third.

At 38, Cavendish is the oldest rider to ever win a Giro stage.

Roglic secures first Giro title

Sunday’s final stage was a processional 135km route around Rome during which, by precedent, the general classification leader was not challenged for the overall victory.

Having overhauled Thomas to claim the leader’s pink jersey on the penultimate stage, Roglic just had to safely complete the course and duly did.

The Jumbo-Visma rider is the first Slovenian to ever win the Giro.

It is his fourth Grand Tour win, having won three Vuelta a Espana titles in a row from 2019 to 2021.

Roglic only took the maglia rosa for the first time after winning stage 20 but had ridden a superb race to keep within striking distance of Thomas, after pre-race favourite Remco Evenepoel abandoned while leading after stage nine because he tested positive for Covid.

He claimed the title by just 14 seconds over Welshman Thomas, with Portugal’s Joao Almeida one minute 15 seconds down on Roglic in third.

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