Australians win all secondary jerseys of the Giro d'Italia
By: Jean-François Quénet - May 30, - Giro d'Italia, Stage 21
Australian riders won the points classification, the king of the mountain prize and the best young rider classification in the 2010 Giro d'Italia thanks to Cadel Evans, Matt Lloyd and Richie Porte. Never before has a rider from Down Under won a major secondary classification at the corsa rosa.
Phil Anderson came the closest in 1990 when he won the Intergiro, a temporal classification based on midway points for every stage. The leader wore a blue jersey.
"I came here for the pink jersey to be honest," said overall contender Evans, whose consistency netted him the points classification jersey. It is no longer cyclamen this year, but red.
"It was a great finish to the Giro and so thanks to the organisers for a great race," said the World Champion. The points jersey was some consolation for a missed opportunity to win a Grand Tour as Evans battled sickness during the Giro and did not have as strong of a team as some of the other favorites. "Some stages were amazing, and we didn't know what was going to happen next," he said. "I'm satisfied with my Giro."
Evans was full of praise for his young compatriots, the other classification winners. "I was very impressed with Matt yesterday," said Evans. "He showed his depth and rode above himself. The same for Richie. I first met him when he was reserve for the Australian worlds team. He's been in hiding, but now everyone knows his name and what he's capable of. Matt can go for other stages and mountain jerseys. Richie learned, and it was a learning curve that will help him during the rest of his career. I wish him all the best."
When Lloyd went on stage to get the green jersey of the mountains classification, he hadn't had a chance to research which other riders had won this classification previously. His name joins those of Gino Bartali, Fausto Coppi, Hugo Koblet, Louison Bobet, Charly Gaul, Federico Bahamontes, Rik Van Looy, Eddy Merckx, Lucien van Impe, Laurent Fignon, Robert Millar, Andy Hampsten, Lucio Herrera, Claudio Chiappucci, Marco Pantani, José Rujano and Stefano Garzelli in the record books. The mountains classification was implemented in 1933.
"I haven't got the words to describe the Giro after three weeks of racing," the Victorian from Omega Pharma-Lotto said. "We did three or four days in Holland. That was really difficult for me with the flat and the wind. Then we went up and down the country. It's a difficult country, and the mountains were in the last week. It was fantastic to the finish. It was something special.
"I didn't think I could win the green jersey, but thanks to my team I became more and more comfortable in it. I got great help from my team. Yesterday was my last chance to emphasize my climbing ability and confront these guys. It was fantastic and I can't ask for more from my Giro."
Porte is the true revelation of the three weeks of Giro d'Italia racing. "I came here with pretty modest expectations. It's been a hell of a trip for me. My team has been incredible but so has the Italian public. In some small villages, all the people were out, and so the future looks bright for cycling."
"There are some good young guys coming through like (Bauke) Mollema and (Robert) Kiserlovski," said Porte. "Yesterday, I was in a world of pain, but my teammates pulled me back."
"I'm quite young to the sport, but when I look at these guys (Evans and Basso), they're incredible and at the next level. Cadel was fantastic with me. He didn't have to be, but I was able to really appreciate that, just like I was with my teammates (Gustav) Larsson and (Nicki and Chris) Sørensen. It's good to have great champs who are willing to help."
An emotional Porte had a few words to sum up his experience: "Thanks to Italy for a great race."