Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Victorious, 33 ans)
How to evoke this Giro and its revelations without evoking the completely unexpected performance of Damiano Caruso? Yes, the Italian is already 33 years old on the clock and had achieved several top 10 in the Grand Tour before but absolutely no one – not even him, no doubt – would have imagined the Sicilen on the final podium. Perfectly regular, Caruso even ignited the end of Giro with this ride during the 20th stage, which ended with a stage victory. Only the third success of his career, the first in the World Tour. In the absence of Landa, who fell in the course of Giro, we had to expect a lot from the Italian. But not as much.
Caruso and Bardet put on the show, Bernal managed: the summary of the 20th stage
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Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ, 22 ans)
For his second Grand Tour after his 27th place last year, already on the Giro, the Hungarian made his entry into the big leagues from the 6th stage, by seizing the leader’s pink jersey at the top of San Giacomo. A tunic largely recovered thanks to his breakaway towards Sestola (4th stage) but which the climber of Groupama-FDJ will have defended valiantly afterwards. He only lost the pink jersey for three days but never gave up completely, trying to grab the best possible overall ranking. The stages of Montalcino and Sega di Ala, however, quickly deprived him of the dream of a top 10 in Milan (14th overall). Whatever: the appointment is made.
Valter: “I am surely the most surprised!”
Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma, 24 years old)
He shouldn’t have been the leader of his team, but George Bennett quickly got stuck and the Norwegian responded perfectly. Two years after his success on the Tour de l’Avenir, Foss gained strength throughout the event, after having had a complicated first week (18th after 11 stages). If he has never really been at the level of the best (9th at best in the mountains), the Norwegian hung in the back curtain to keep a promising top 10 (9th), for his first Grand Tour completed (he had abandoned the Giro last year). Very solid in qualifying (3rd and 12th), with good recovery, he demonstrated all the qualities of a future Grand Tour winner.
Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma)
Credit: Getty Images
Lorenzo Fortunato (EOLO-Kometa, 25 ans)
At the start of Cittadella on May 22, it is very likely that the majority of the followers of this Giro did not know Lorenzo Fortunato. But the Italian turned his popularity and his career upside down by winning brilliantly at the top of the legendary Monte Zoncolan. A prestigious breakaway victory that sublimates a bluffing end of Giro on the pedal: 12th in Sega di Ala, 19th in Alpe di Mera, the Italian is even better in Alpe Motta by taking 9th place in the stage- Queen. In front of climbers like Foss or Martin! If he lost his place in the top 15 at the end of the stopwatch (16th), Fortunato appears as a potential leader in this EOLO-Kometa team which, itself, is rising.
The glory for Fortunato, the setbacks for the rivals of Bernal and Yates: finish of the 14th stage
Michael Storer (Team DSM, 24 ans)
He neither shone in the general classification, nor hung up on a leader’s jersey or a stage victory, but Storer will remain as one of the strong men of this Giro. Lieutenant of Romain Bardet (7th), the Australian achieved a very high level Tour of Italy in support of the French, especially in the third week. After helping the Habs to limit the damage to Sega di Ala, it was he, along with Hamilton, who left with Bardet during the 20th stage and it was he who was the last of the DSMs to depart, at the foot of the final climb. The stage victory was not there but the Australian recalled that we did not finish in the top 10 of the Tour de l’Avenir twice for no reason.
Michael Storer (DSM) works for his leader Romain Bardet during the 20th stage of the Giro 2021
Credit: Getty Images
Mauro Schmid (Qhubeka-Assos, 21)
It is rare, when one is neo-pro, to participate in a Grand Tour, and even more so to shine there. Yet this is what Mauro Schmid, winner of one of the most beautiful stages of this Tour of Italy, has managed to do at Montalcino. Present in a too solid breakaway where we found riders as experienced as Battaglin, de Bondt or Van der Hoorn, the Swiss maneuvered perfectly before winning the sprint. With a good capacity for recovery, we have regularly seen him attempting breakaways before taking a surprising 32nd place at Alpe Motta, on the pedal. Proof that the runner is very complete.
A strong sprint for a first victory: the happiness of Schmid on video
Matteo Sobrero (Astana-Premier Tech, 24 years old)
Like his compatriot Caruso, the 24-year-old Italian is not totally a surprise. His references in the time trial, in particular on the Giro last year (7th, 11th and 18th), placed him among the men to follow in the two timed events of this 104th edition. But seeing Sobrero on a par with Ganna, Cavagna and Affini on the 30 kilometers between Senago and Milan was not expected. Very consistent in this time, the Italian finished very strong to take 4th place, 14 ” behind the world champion, admittedly slowed down by a puncture. A performance of choice for those who are advised in the discipline by… Ganna himself. And the student intends to surpass the master.
Sacred Bernal, untouchable Ganna, clumsy Cavagna: the summary of the last stage
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