Froome wins Giro, Bennett also makes history

Chris Froome has became the first British winner, while New Zealand cyclist George Bennett has also made history at the Giro d‘Italia.

Kiwi cyclist George Bennett. Photo: Supplied

Riding in the gruelling race for the first time since 2010, Froome came through unscathed in the final processional stage to Rome on Monday (NZ time) to add the one Grand Tour missing from his collection.

Bennett finished eighth, recording New Zealand‘s best finish in a Grand Tour by beating his own 10th at the Vuelta a Espana in 2016.

Froome, now 33, joined an exclusive club that includes cycling greats Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault as one of only three riders to capture all three Grands Tours in succession.

“For any cyclist this is the dream to have all three leader‘s‘ jerseys in the 10 months,” Froome, who finished 46 seconds ahead of last year‘s winner Tom Dumoulin in the overall standings, told Eurosport.

“To have finally won this race, I can‘t quite believe it myself.”

Froome, who crossed the finish line with his hands on the shoulders of Sky team mates, won the Tour de France and Vuelta Espana last year and his success at the Giro was built on a remarkable performance in Friday‘s 19th stage which put him in full control to win the Maglia Rosa.

Froome turned the race on its head in that stage and saw off several late attacks by Dumoulin to come into contention after being off the pace in the opening week. He had even crashed ahead of the first stage in Israel.

The Team Sky rider is still under investigation over an adverse doping test result following a urine sample at last year‘s Vuelta which showed excessive use of an asthma inhaler. The four-times Tour de France winner has denied any wrongdoing.

Monday‘s 21st stage was largely a formality with riders needing only to complete the 115km, 10-lap loop of the city centre. Ireland‘s Sam Bennett claimed his third stage win ahead of Italy‘s Elia Viviani and Jean-Pierre Druker from Luxembourg.

– Reuters

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