29/05/16 - 11:45
Cuneo - Turin
Giro d'Italia • Stage21

Cuneo - Turin

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Thanks for joining me today - and for every day of the Giro. I'll leave you with a picture of the podium - and look forward to talking you through every stage of the Tour de France in July... See you then!


But let's not finish this race on a low and instead remember the man - and the team - who proved to be the strongest over the three weeks... Bravo, Vincenzo Nibali!


Heartbreak for Nizzolo and Trek-Segafredo, who claimed that their man "did not impede anyone from winning" in what appears to be a dig at Modolo, the man who complained about the Italian closing the door...


Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin) has been given the stage win after finishing runner-up.


NEWSFLASH: Giacomo Nizzolo has been disqualified for irregular sprinting.


Here's the moment Nibali won the 2016 Giro d'Italia...


Despite a complaint by Sacha Modolo that his rival closed the door and forced him into the barriers, the race jury has confirmed Giacomo Nizzolo as the winner of the final stage. That's his first ever victory on a Grand Tour - and added cherry to the cake of his red jersey.


That's a fourth Grand Tour win for Vincenzo Nibali following his earlier victories in each of cycling's major three-week races.


Here comes Vincenzo Nibali - all smiles as he celebrates with Michele Scarponi as he crosses the line to win the 2016 Giro d'Italia.


We'll let the dust settle on that one... now it's time to wait for the other GC riders, who are riding in dribs and drabs after that neutralisation...


Nizzolo was the strongest - but he did veer to the left and seemed to impede Sacha Modolo, or a Lampre-Merida rider, who flings up his arms in protest.


No! Giacomo Nizzolo roars back into life and surges wide to take the win.


It's Sean De Bie... but Grosu is there now. Nizzolo has sat up...


Under the flamme rouge and it's a Lotto Soudal rider with a gap on the front...


Here's that Colbrelli cameraman crash...


It's anyone's guess what will happen, but Nizzolo will probably finish second given his track record.


It's a free-for-all - albeit a rather limited one, for there are only 30-odd riders left in this leading group. Rojas has a pop but it comes to nothing.


Terrible luck for Colbrelli. He was looking down and probably too close to the side of the road - but that photographer was encroaching on the road too...


It's all over for Van Emden, who is caught at the top of the climb. Oh and there's a crash! Sonny Colbrelli of Bardiani-CSF clips a photographer on the side of the road just as he was attacking!


The bell rings for the last lap - and Van Emden throws away his water bottle as he starts the climb for the final time.


Van Emden has doubled his lead to 20 seconds. The rain has dropped but the roads are still wet.


Tjallingii has popped and so it's just Jos Van Emden who rides ahead now. He has 10 seconds...


It's not looking good for the two Dutch leaders now. They've buried themselves but a turn by Bob Jungels on the front has seen their advantage come down to just 10 seconds. LottoNL-Jumbo won't pick up their second stage win of the race after all.


The Shark of Messina has come on a long way since chasing his heros for a photo (in a quite extraordinary piece of knitwear).


Tjallingii and Van Emden cross the line for the sixth time - they have two more laps and just 28 seconds to play with. Lampre-Merida and Trek-Segafredo still lead the chase for their men Sacha Modolo and Giacomo Nizzolo in what is essentially a 40-man peloton now after that GC neutralisation.


Some images of the aftermath of that crash earlier - with Chaves checking on Uran's health. A nice touch.


Another rider has had to abandon: Johann van Zyl of Dimension Data. He's the third withdrawal of the day...


Heartbrake for Jasha Sutterlin, the young German at Movistar. It was he - and not Betancur, as reported - who came down badly in that crash, and he has been forced to withdraw from the race within touching distance of the finish. This was the 23-year-old's debut Grand Tour as well.


Three more laps to go and Lampre-Merida and Trek-Segafredo have really taken up the chase in this small 80-man peloton. The cross the line 47 seconds down on the two leaders...


With all the GC times now neutralised it's become a day solely for the sprinters and stage hunters. That has played into the hands of the leading Dutch duo, who have one minute to play with and - most importantly - don't have the stress of riding in a group. Now Tjallingii has never won a Grand Tour stage - and this is his final race before retiring... what a story that would make.


Wellens, Boaro and Brambilla are back with the pack after their thwarted attempt at joining the leaders. Chaves and Uran are riding back after their crash - but the pressure is off now with that decision from the race jury.


That means that Vincenzo Nibali - as long as he finishes - is the winner of the 99th edition of the Giro d'Italia.


NEWSFLASH: The jury has decided to stop the clock and neutralise the timings for this final stage.


CRASH: And three Colombians are among the fallers - Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge), Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale) and Carlos Betancur (Movistar).


It's almost over for the chasers, who trail the two leaders by 50 seconds now, with the pack a further 15 seconds back. Superb ride from the LottoNL-Jumbo duo.


There is no chemistry between Wellens and his two Italian co-chasers, Boaro and Brambilla. They're making no in-roads with the Dutch duo now 40 seconds clear and looking good. The peloton has caught Zhupa and Clarke, who were out with the chasers, and it's Trek-Segafredo, Lampre-Merida and IAM Cycling who lead the chase.


Some more details on the final street circuit...


There's a fair bit of spiciness between Bambilla, Wellens and Boaro - and don't discount crashes here because the roads are wet, oily and covered in flagstones in parts. Van Emden and Tjallingii cross the finish line again - five more laps to go. And the gap is 35 seconds now as Boaro shakes his head...


Boaro leads the chase in this group of three chasers, with Wellens and Brambilla just behind. They're 15 seconds away from the leaders, with the peloton at 50.


Clarke and Zhupa have lost a little ground on the other three chasers on the climb...


The five chasers are Simon Clarke (Cannondale), Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Eugert Zhupa (Wilier-Southeast), Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff) and Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx-QuickStep). They trail Tjallingii and Van Emden by 40 seconds and lead the peloton by 20 seconds at the end of the second lap. Six more to go.


It's raining again in Turin - that could well have a big impact on things.


Three more riders chasing down Brambilla and Boaro in this chase to join the two leaders...


The leading LottoNL-Jumbo duo are back on that climb again - they now have 1:05 and so this is a good effort. Astana still lead the chase - although an Etixx-QuickStep rider has just jumped clear with a Tinkoff rider, it seems.


Just two teams have their full quota of riders remaining: Tinkoff and Cannondale. Neither team netted a win in this year's Giro, mind. Their GC riders finished fifth (Rafal Majka) and seventh (Rigoberto Uran) but neither were exactly ever in the fight for pink.


There's a punchy hill which peaks out at 8% at the start of this circuit - in all it's 750m long and averages 6% so it could well prove to be an ideal springboard for an attack. Remember, last year a break stuck - with Iljo Keisse beating Luke Durbridge for the win after the peloton made a hash of the chase. So a spring finish is not guaranteed - especially given Nizzolo's luck/tactics over these past two years.


The riders are onto the city circuit in Turin and it's Astana who lead the peloton across the finish line ahead of eight laps. They're trailing the two Dutch leaders by 33 seconds. The rain has stopped for now and the roads have dried.


We have two riders out ahead and it's LottoNL-Jumbo duo Maarten Tjallingii and Josh van Emden. It's the former's final Grand Tour and he wants to end it as he started - breaking away. The Dutch duo have 20 seconds over the peloton.


Giacomo Nizzolo's win in the intermediate sprint means the Italian has an unreachable lead in the red jersey standings with 205 points and counting. Last year he won it without winning a stage - he needs a victory today to avoid repeating that admirable but incomplete feat of consistency.


Nibali's riding a custom pink Specialized today - and his Astana team-mates all have pink bar tape.


Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) was also involved in that crash that took down Chaves and ended Lars Bak's race.


The peloton is approaching the feedzone at Villastellione - an ideal opportunity to bring you the latest installment of Eurosport commentator Jono Harris-Bass's Giro food blog.


Results are in for the first intermediate sprint at Racconigi, where Trek-Segafredo's Giacomo Nizzolo consolidated his lead in the red jersey points standings by beating fellow Italians Sacha Modolo and Matteo Trentin.


Here are some images of the aftermath of the crash that ended Lars Bak's Giro and gave Esteban Chaves a huge scare...


Bob Jungels (Etixx-QuickStep) is the runaway winner of the white jersey youth classification. The Luxembourg rider - who led the race for a brief stint in pink after taking over from team-mate Gianluca Brambilla - is 29:38 ahead of his nearest rival, Colombian Sebastian Henao of Team Sky.


Lotto Soudal have confirmed the withdrawal of Lars Bak...


Some sad news coming through: it seems that Lars Bak (Lotto Soudal) was involved in that crash and has been forced to abandon the race because of injuries sustained. Terrible luck for the Danish powerhouse - who was on course to complete his 14th Grand Tour.


News filtering through that Esteban Chaves, second on GC, went down in a crash that involved some riders from his Orica-GreenEdge team and BMC.


The heavy rain has led to talk of neutralising some of the stage - namely some of the laps in Turin. Judging by this picture from the Katusha Twitter account, that's probably wise...


The peloton covered just 35.9km in the first hour - a reflection of both the processional way in which this stage is panning out, plus the heavy rain.


If the battle for the blue jersey is all over then the same can probably be said of the red jersey, where Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) leads Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) by 185 points to 152. That means that Nizzolo is on course to win the red jersey for the second successive year - but without notching a stage win. He's been second twice - and really should have won the day Roger Kluge upset the odds in Cassano d'Adda. He'll be one of the favourites today, but you can see him somehow contriving to finish second once again...


Yesterday we also saw Spaniard Mikel Nieve (Team Sky) wrest the blue jersey from the shoulders of Damiano Cunego (Nippo-Vini Fantini) to give Sky something to shout about following the withdrawal of their leader Mikel Nieve way back after the second rest day. Nieve, who won the queen stage in the Dolomites, took maximum points over the Col de Vars and the Col de la Bonette to move on to 152 points to Cunego's 135. The Italian veteran had been in the break with Nieve, but didn't have the strength in his legs to add to the haul he amassed much earlier in the race.


Until we get into Turin and the eight laps get going, there's going to be a lot of this... And it's apt, for Vincenzo Nibali's second overall triumph in the Giro d'Italia was very much a team affair, with his Astana team-mates - and in particular Messrs Scarpini, Fuglsang and Kangert - enhancing his the Italian's performance quite considerably over the past few weeks.


They're under way - let's get this final stage on the (wet, slippery and cobbled) road.


No overnight withdrawals to report so we have 157 riders taking to the start for the last stage of this race. And here's what's on the agenda...


After all that sun in the Alps and Dolomites - not to forget the Netherlands and southern Italy - the heavens came down at the start in Cuneo today ahead of the start of the final stage...


Having trailed the summit by almost five minutes three days ago, Astana's Nibali now sits atop the overall standings with 52 seconds over Colombia's Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) and 1:17 over Spanish veteran Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk, the LottoNL-Jumbo rider who looked all but certain of winning a maiden Grand Tour, drops off the podium to fourth place at 1:50 after his cruel crash on Friday.


Yesterday the whole of Italy was in party mode as their man did the seemingly impossible. Vincenzo Nibali completed a stunning comeback by wresting the pink jersey off the shoulders of Esteban Chaves on the Giro d’Italia’s final day in the mountains as Estonia's Rein Taaramae soloed to glory in a thrilling stage 20 in the Alps.


Hello, ciao and welcome to live coverage of stage 21 of the Giro d'Italia - the final leg of this year's race, a processional 163km trip from Cuneo to Turin concluding with eight laps of a city centre circuit.