Chris Froome becomes first British winner of Giro d'Italia in Rome.Chris Froome was declared the first British winner of the 101st edition of Giro d’Italia, the cycling world's second-biggest annual stage race, in Rome on 27 May.
However the race ended in controversy after organisers decided to "neutralise" the final stage following just three of the 10 scheduled 11.5-km laps due to the unsuitable racing condition of Rome's streets.
The decision was made over concerns for rider safety on the Rome circuit, much of it with poor road surfaces, abrupt changes of direction and gradient, and bumpy due to sanpietrini cobblestones.The choice to neutralise the race meant that the general classification times were taken at the end of the third lap, resulting in Froome (Team Sky) retaining his 46-second lead over Dutchman Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) in the final standings.
Opposition politicians were quick to attack the city's mayor Virginia Raggi for presiding over an "ennesimo flop" and "figuraccia in mondovisione" however the city responded by stating that the circuit was selected by the organisers, not city hall, and that Rome had spent around €500,000 patching the capital's potholes ahead of the event.
The 33-year-old Froome now joins the elite club of seven riders who have won all three of cycling's grand tours, having won the Tour de France four times and the Vuelta a Espana once. Froome is also only the third cyclist to hold the three titles simultaneously following Eddy Merckx in 1972/73 and Bernard Hinault in 1981/82. Froome is currently fighting to clear his name after a doping test at last year's Vuelta a Espana revealed him to have double the permitted limit of the asthma medication Salbutamol in his system, however he is confident that an investigation will clear him of wrongdoing.Although Froome was the overall winner of the Giro d'Italia, the final stage of the race in Rome was won by Ireland's Sam Bennett of the Bora-Hansgrohe team who beat Italian rival Elia Viviani of Team Quick-Step Floors.
It was only the fourth time in the history of Giro d'Italia that the race concluded in Rome, following previous Roman editions in 1911, 1950 and 2009.
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