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Giro d'Italia: The best sprinters of the past 30 years - Gallery

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Double celebrations as Cavendish leads out Greipel for the win on stage 17 in 2008

Double celebrations as Cavendish leads out Greipel for the win on stage 17 in 2008 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Cipollini was finding it easy in 2002, beating Danilo Hondo here

Cipollini was finding it easy in 2002, beating Danilo Hondo here (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Elia Viviani on top form in 2018

Elia Viviani on top form in 2018 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Robbie McEwan wins his first Giro stage in 2002

Robbie McEwan wins his first Giro stage in 2002 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Cipollini wins in the maglia ciclamino in 1997 in Taranto on stage 10

Cipollini wins in the maglia ciclamino in 1997 in Taranto on stage 10 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Fernando Gaviria makes it a Grand Tour debut to remember, with a four-stage haul in 2017

Fernando Gaviria makes it a Grand Tour debut to remember, with a four-stage haul in 2017 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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A changing of the guard: Petacchi pips Cipollini on stage 5 of the 2003 Giro

A changing of the guard: Petacchi pips Cipollini on stage 5 of the 2003 Giro (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Ivan Qaranta gets the better of Cipollini and Svorada

Ivan Qaranta gets the better of Cipollini and Svorada (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Petacchi gets the better of a self-confessed 'lazy' Cavendish on stage 2 in 2009

Petacchi gets the better of a self-confessed 'lazy' Cavendish on stage 2 in 2009 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Cipollini wins stage 20 of the 1990 Giro

Cipollini wins stage 20 of the 1990 Giro (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Ivan Qaranta beats Cipollini on stage 16 of the 2001 Giro

Ivan Qaranta beats Cipollini on stage 16 of the 2001 Giro (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Cipollini wins stage 3 in 1995

Cipollini wins stage 3 in 1995 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Sam Bennett wins on the final day of the 2018 Giro, making it three wins to Viviani's four

Sam Bennett wins on the final day of the 2018 Giro, making it three wins to Viviani's four (Image credit: Sirotti)
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QuickStep celebrate another perfect lead-out for Viviani in 2018

QuickStep celebrate another perfect lead-out for Viviani in 2018 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Cipollini wins in pink in 1997

Cipollini wins in pink in 1997 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Caleb Ewan collects his first Giro stage, pipping Gaviria and Bennett to the line in 2017

Caleb Ewan collects his first Giro stage, pipping Gaviria and Bennett to the line in 2017 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Cavendish felt Petacchi had deviated from his line on stage 2 in 2011

Cavendish felt Petacchi had deviated from his line on stage 2 in 2011 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Jan Svorada wins after a late crash on stage 11 of the 1994 Giro, where he won three stages

Jan Svorada wins after a late crash on stage 11 of the 1994 Giro, where he won three stages (Image credit: Sirotti)
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McEwan takes one of three wins in 2005

McEwan takes one of three wins in 2005 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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After a slow start, Cavendish collects three stages in 2009

After a slow start, Cavendish collects three stages in 2009 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Cipollini wins the opening stage of the 1995 Giro in Terni

Cipollini wins the opening stage of the 1995 Giro in Terni (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Pascal Ackermann established himself as one of the world's best with two stage wins in 2019

Pascal Ackermann established himself as one of the world's best with two stage wins in 2019 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Marcel Kittel was untouchable in the Dutch Grande Partenza in 2016

Marcel Kittel was untouchable in the Dutch Grande Partenza in 2016 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Cavendish bags his first Grand Tour stage win in 2008

Cavendish bags his first Grand Tour stage win in 2008 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Petacchi was finding it easy in 2004, winning nine stages

Petacchi was finding it easy in 2004, winning nine stages (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Nacer Bouhanni with a typically Nacer Bouhanni celebration at the 2014 Giro, where he was the dominant sprinter with three wins

Nacer Bouhanni with a typically Nacer Bouhanni celebration at the 2014 Giro, where he was the dominant sprinter with three wins (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Cipollini wins stage 16 in 1992

Cipollini wins stage 16 in 1992 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Cipollini gets the better of Jeroen Blijevens on stag 2 in 1999

Cipollini gets the better of Jeroen Blijevens on stag 2 in 1999 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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A joyous Petacchi wins in Milan on the final day of the 2007 Giro

A joyous Petacchi wins in Milan on the final day of the 2007 Giro (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Cipollini wins stage 5 in 1997

Cipollini wins stage 5 in 1997 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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McEwan, wearing the points jersey, takes stage 6 in 2006

McEwan, wearing the points jersey, takes stage 6 in 2006 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Cavendish wins in the rainbow jersey in 2012

Cavendish wins in the rainbow jersey in 2012 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Andre Greipel with the last of his three stages in 2016

Andre Greipel with the last of his three stages in 2016 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Marcel Kittel wins two stages in the Grande Partenza of the 2014 Giro

Marcel Kittel wins two stages in the Grande Partenza of the 2014 Giro (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Sacha Modolo bagged a brace in 2015

Sacha Modolo bagged a brace in 2015 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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McEwan wins stage 2 in 2003

McEwan wins stage 2 in 2003 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Cavendish completes a five-stage haul in 2013

Cavendish completes a five-stage haul in 2013 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Petacchi wins again in 2005

Petacchi wins again in 2005 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Gaviria kisses his bracelet, a gift from his girlfriend, as he Giro stages become a habit in 2017

Gaviria kisses his bracelet, a gift from his girlfriend, as he Giro stages become a habit in 2017 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Bennett goes long to win in style on the Imola circuit in 2018

Bennett goes long to win in style on the Imola circuit in 2018 (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Stage 4 of the 2000 Giro, and Cipollini forgets to zip up his jersey for the finish line shot

Stage 4 of the 2000 Giro, and Cipollini forgets to zip up his jersey for the finish line shot (Image credit: Sirotti)

The 2020 Giro d’Italia would have been making its way from Castrovillari to Brindisi on Saturday, with stage 8 largely flat and likely to culminate in a bunch sprint finish. 

With no Giro this May – and the possibility of no Giro at all in 2020 – we’re reliving past moments from the corsa rosa as thee race would have rolled by.

With a sprint finish on tap, we take a look at at the top fast finishers from the Giro d’Italia over the past 30 years.

Leading the way, by some margin, is Mario Cipollini, who collected a massive 42 Giro stages over the course of his career. After taking his first in 1989, he continued to win year after year, with two in 1990, three in 1991 and four in 1992. After a two-year absence, he returned in 1995 to win two stages, followed by four in 1996, five in 1997 and, four in 1998 and 1999. There was just the one in 2000, before four more in 2001 and his record haul of six in 2002. His last two wins came in 2003.

Cipollini dominated the 1990s, leaving slim pickings for the rest. Among those forced to feed off the scraps were his fellow Italian Ivan Quaranta, who picked up six wins and a host of podium finishes, and Jan Svorada and Adriano Baffi, with five wins each.

The Cipollini era was followed by the Alessandro Petacchi era, with the rangy Italian clocking up some 22 wins between 2003 and 2011. He’d tell you it was 27, but his 2007 results were scrubbed from his palmares due to his high salbutamol case.

While Cipollini left most others in his shadow, there was one rider who managed to grab a considerable slice of the pie during the Petacchi years. Robbie McEwan, the compact Australian, won his first Giro stage in 2002 and managed to clock up 11 more. He had a tough time in 2004 as Petacchi won a whopping nine stages, but came back to win three times in 2005 and 2006.

Thee end of the Petacchi years overlapped with the emergence of Mark Cavendish. As we wrote about last week, Petacchi beat Cavendish on stage 2 of the 2009 Giro in their first major meeting, and again on the corresponding stage of the 2011 edition. The pair would go on to be teammates but back then they were rivals and Petacchi showed he still had an edge on the young Manxman.

Cavendish went on to win three stages in 2009, before collecting two in 2011 and 2012. His best haul came in 2013, where he dominated with five wins, but it was his last appearance, leaving his Giro d'Italia tally on 15.

In recent years, there hasn’t been such a leading figure in May. Marcel Kittel dominated the early stages in 2014 and 2016 before leaving the race to focus on the Tour de France. Andre Greipel, who won his first Giro stage in 2008, won three times in 2016 on his way to a total of seven stages, and Nacer Bouhanni even managed a hat-trick in 2014. 2017 was all about Fernando Gaviria, who won four stages on his scintillating Grand Tour debut, while 2018 saw a captivating battle between Elia Viviani and Sam Bennett. Last year Pascal Ackermann emerged, on the roads of Italy, winning two stages and the points jersey.

Click or swipe through the gallery above for a full selection of photos of the best sprinting moments of the past 30 years.