Giro d'Italia: Alberto Contador wins overall as Iljo Keisse takes last stage
Spaniard finishes safely in Milan to seal seventh grand tour triumph
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 31/05/15 7:17pm
Alberto Contador completed overall victory of the 2015 Giro d’Italia by safely negotiating a flat final stage into Milan won by breakaway rider Iljo Keisse.
Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) crossed the line just behind the peloton to seal a 1min 53sec triumph over runner-up Fabio Aru (Astana), with Mikel Landa (Astana) ending the race 3min 5sec down in third.
It was the seventh grand tour victory of Contador's career and second at the Giro, and he now joins France’s Bernard Hinault as only the second rider in history to have won all three grand tours more than once.
The victory also means he has completed the first part of his bid to become the first man since Italy's Marco Pantani in 1998 to win both the Giro and Tour de France in the same year.
Contador, who dislocated his shoulder in one of two crashes earlier in the race, said: "I overcame so many difficulties, but at the end I got the maglia rosa [pink jersey]. I don't know how long it will take to recover, but I think I will get back to work on Saturday."
The final stage had been expected to end in a sprint, but Keisse (Etixx - Quick-Step) broke away from the peloton alongside Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge) with around 30km remaining and then beat the Australian in a two-man dash for the line.
Most grand tour wins
- 11 - Eddy Merckx
- 10 - Bernard Hinault
- 8 - Jacques Anquetil
- 7 - Alberto Contador
- 7 - Fausto Coppi
- 7 - Miguel Indurain
Keisse said: “This is my best victory ever. I’m really happy. I’m a track rider and I know I can do well in short crits [circuit races] like this, with fast corners. I was also lucky to have the perfect mate in the break with Luke Durbridge. On the last lap I knew I was riding for the win, I just had to come to the sprint and take it.”
Italy's Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) finished fifth on the day to wrap up victory in the points classification, while Aru won the best young rider competition and Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) celebrated success in the mountains classification.
The final stage was more stressful for Contador than he would have liked, with the threat of punctures caused by tram tracks on the finishing circuit being compounded by panic at the head of the peloton as the sprint teams tried in vain to chase the breakaway.
Durbridge led the front two under the 1km-to-go banner but had no response when Keisse emerged from his slipstream 200m out and sped past to claim the first grand tour stage win of his career.
Contador dropped back in the finishing straight and crossed the line nine seconds behind the peloton, celebrating with three fingers aloft in reference to the fact that as well as the 2008 and 2015 Giros, he also won the 2011 edition before having the result scrapped due to a failed doping test.
Team Sky's Leopold Konig recovered from two punctures in the last 13km to consolidate sixth place overall and maintain his record of having finished in the top 10 of all three grand tours he has entered.
Stage 21 result
1 Iljo Keisse (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step, 4:18:37
2 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge, same time
3 Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling, +9secs
4 Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha, st
5 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory Racing, st
6 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Giant-Alpecin, st
7 Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky, st
8 Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo, st
9 Davide Appollonio (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, st
10 Elia Favilli (Ita) Southeast, st
Final general classification
1 Alberto Contador (Esp) Tinkoff-Saxo, 88:22:25
2 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana, +1:53
3 Mikel Landa (Esp) Astana, +3:05
4 Andrey Amador (Cos) Movistar, +8:10
5 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin, +9:52
6 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Sky, +10:41
7 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo, +10:53
8 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing, +12:08
9 Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ.fr, +15:51
10 Yuri Trofimov (Rus) Katusha, +16:14