Vincenzo Nibali wins 2nd Giro d'Italia title and 4th Grand Tour
Giacomo Nizzolo's hopes of first stage win dashed after disqualification
Riding a completely pink bicycle and patting his teammates, home favourite Vincenzo Nibali clinched a second Giro d'Italia victory and a fourth Grand Tour title on Sunday but Giacomo Nizzolo's hopes of a first stage win were again dashed as he was disqualified.
Nibali's chances of repeating his 2013 feat seemed impossible on Friday — as he started the stage nearly five minutes behind leader Steven Kruijswijk — before a dramatic two days in the 99th edition of the Italian classic saw the Astana cyclist surge into the lead, helped by the Dutch rider's crash into a snowbank.
Sunday's final leg, a flat 163-kilometre (101-mile) route from Cuneo to Turin, should have been mostly a coronation procession but it was also not short of drama — although this time not in the overall standings.
With several crashes and the rain falling heavily, the race was neutralized and Nibali knew he just had to finish safely to secure the pink jersey.
And a few meters short of the finish line, he acknowledged his achievement, patting his teammates on the back and bumping fists with them before sitting up in his saddle, pulling down the jersey to show it off fully and then lifting his arms into the air.
Nibali finished with a total time of 86 hours, 32 minutes and 49 seconds, 52 seconds ahead of Esteban Chaves.
Alejandro Valverde was third, 1.17 behind Nibali, with Kruijswijk finishing outside the podium, nearly two minutes off the pace.
It appeared to be a double celebration for Italy as Nizzolo, so often the Giro's nearly man, sprinted to victory but he was declassified after the race jury reviewed the sprint and judged he had veered into the line of Sacha Modolo, impeding his compatriot.
The win was awarded to Nikias Arndt with Matteo Trentin second and Modolo third.