Colombian Cyclist Nairo Quintana Wins Giro d’Italia: Historic First in Cycling Grand Tour
In a historic first, a Colombian has won one of the world's great cycling races. Second only to the Tour de France, the Giro D'Italia is part of the Grand Tours of cycling that also includes the Vuelta a Espana.
In the penultimate stage of the race, the Australian Michael Rogers finished first, having climbed Monte Zoncolan. According to the Telegraph, the Australian fared well in his first race since having been suspended having failed a drug test last year. The suspension, however, was overturned.
"I'm really honored to win here on this legendary climb in these fantastic surroundings," a triumphant Rogers said afterwards. "We knew this was our final chance of winning, and we pulled it off."
However, Colombians have dominated the race. Quintana and his compatriot Rigoberto Uran have been at the lead of the race, and they claimed both first and second place, respectively.
According to The Associated Press, Quintana was the runner-up at last year's Tour de France. The 24-year-old climbing specialist, representing the Movistar team, won two of the stages and finished with a two minute and 58 second advantage over Uran. Coming in third was Italy's Fabio Aru.
Born in Boyaca, Colombia, the cyclist stood on the podium in Trieste, Italy, holding his daughter Mariana while the Colombian national anthem played, according to the Colombian newspaper El Pais. He donned a pink jersey after winning the 16th stage and that pushed him closer to winning. He was also named the best young cyclist of the race, a title he also won in the Tour de France last year.
Uran, who finished second, will compete in the upcoming Tour de France, according to El Pais. However, Quintana has decided to postpone his participation until the following year, when he is confident he will win that tour as well.