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Gallery: 50 moments from the Giro d'Italia

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Fans in Belfast came out in droves to see the Giro d'Italia.

Fans in Belfast came out in droves to see the Giro d'Italia.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Rigoberto Uran in second makes it another Colombian on the podium at the Giro d'Italia

Rigoberto Uran in second makes it another Colombian on the podium at the Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Team managers met at the start of stage 17 to discuss the controversial attack of Quintana on the Stelvio

Team managers met at the start of stage 17 to discuss the controversial attack of Quintana on the Stelvio
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Stefano Pirazzi gave Bardiani a hat-trick of stage wins, but why the rude gesture?

Stefano Pirazzi gave Bardiani a hat-trick of stage wins, but why the rude gesture?
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Samuel Sanchez was too frozen to eat, and was fed by a helper atop the Stelvio

Samuel Sanchez was too frozen to eat, and was fed by a helper atop the Stelvio
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The moment of controversy: did the moto ref with the red flag indicate the race situation was neutral on the Stelvio?

The moment of controversy: did the moto ref with the red flag indicate the race situation was neutral on the Stelvio?
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Dario Cataldo (Team Sky) was away solo when the race crested the Stelvio

Dario Cataldo (Team Sky) was away solo when the race crested the Stelvio
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The maglia rosa, Rigoberto Uran, bundled up against the elements on the Gavia pass

The maglia rosa, Rigoberto Uran, bundled up against the elements on the Gavia pass
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The controversial breakaway after the Stelvio: Nairo Quintana, Pierre Rolland and Ryder Hesjedal

The controversial breakaway after the Stelvio: Nairo Quintana, Pierre Rolland and Ryder Hesjedal
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fabio Aru (Astana) gave Italy more to celebrate with an impressive win on Plan di Montecampione

Fabio Aru (Astana) gave Italy more to celebrate with an impressive win on Plan di Montecampione
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Cadel Evans dug deep to chip away at Uran's lead on stage 14

Cadel Evans dug deep to chip away at Uran's lead on stage 14
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Enrico Battaglin on his way to giving Bardiani CSF its second stage win

Enrico Battaglin on his way to giving Bardiani CSF its second stage win
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jussi Veikkanen (FDJ) mistook himself for the stage winner

Jussi Veikkanen (FDJ) mistook himself for the stage winner
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Julian Arredondo (Trek) had already confirmed himself as best climber when he won stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia

Julian Arredondo (Trek) had already confirmed himself as best climber when he won stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fernando Alonso raised hackles by showing up at the Giro to scout riders for his new team

Fernando Alonso raised hackles by showing up at the Giro to scout riders for his new team
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Nairo Quintana enjoys his national anthem with his child on the podium

Nairo Quintana enjoys his national anthem with his child on the podium
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fabio Aru made it three under-26 riders on the podium

Fabio Aru made it three under-26 riders on the podium
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Julian Arredondo gave Colombia another trophy to celebrate

Julian Arredondo gave Colombia another trophy to celebrate
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Nairo Quintana was ultimately declared a worthy Giro d'Italia champion, despite the controversial Stelvio stage.

Nairo Quintana was ultimately declared a worthy Giro d'Italia champion, despite the controversial Stelvio stage.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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AG2R La Mondiale celebrates its status as overall team classification winners by hoisting Pozzovivo aloft

AG2R La Mondiale celebrates its status as overall team classification winners by hoisting Pozzovivo aloft
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fabio Aru was cheered vigorously along on the Zoncolan

Fabio Aru was cheered vigorously along on the Zoncolan
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Michael Rogers gets a memorable win amid the rabble on the Zoncolan

Michael Rogers gets a memorable win amid the rabble on the Zoncolan
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The maglia rosa heads through a brief moment of calm before the mayhem of the Zoncolan finale

The maglia rosa heads through a brief moment of calm before the mayhem of the Zoncolan finale
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mario Cipollini made an appearance on stage 19, showing his fashion sense hasn't changed much.

Mario Cipollini made an appearance on stage 19, showing his fashion sense hasn't changed much.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol) spent just about every stage in the last week on the attack.

Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol) spent just about every stage in the last week on the attack.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The lexan sign-on grid provided a photogenic backdrop

The lexan sign-on grid provided a photogenic backdrop
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) spent four days in the maglia rosa

Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) spent four days in the maglia rosa
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) celebrates his first win of the Giro d'Italia

Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) celebrates his first win of the Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Michael Matthews loses the pink jersey on stage 8

Michael Matthews loses the pink jersey on stage 8
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Joaquim Rodriguez in pain again after crashing out of the Giro.

Joaquim Rodriguez in pain again after crashing out of the Giro.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Michael Matthews gets his dream victory, thanks in part to a crash-induced split in the finale.

Michael Matthews gets his dream victory, thanks in part to a crash-induced split in the finale.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The first stage in Italy turned into a "go slow" because of slick roads.

The first stage in Italy turned into a "go slow" because of slick roads.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) in red before his early exit from the race.

Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) in red before his early exit from the race.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The rain kept Svein Tuft's maglia rosa under wraps.

The rain kept Svein Tuft's maglia rosa under wraps.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Michael Matthews inherited the maglia rosa from his Orica-GreenEdge teammate

Michael Matthews inherited the maglia rosa from his Orica-GreenEdge teammate
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) won the rain-soaked first stage.

Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) won the rain-soaked first stage.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Svein Tuft became the first maglia rosa after Orica-GreenEdge won the team time trial.

Svein Tuft became the first maglia rosa after Orica-GreenEdge won the team time trial.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Pieter Weening gave Orica-GreenEdge another stage victory on stage 9

Pieter Weening gave Orica-GreenEdge another stage victory on stage 9
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Michael Matthews lost more than just a little skin on stage 9

Michael Matthews lost more than just a little skin on stage 9
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Australians had a great first half of the Giro d'Italia

The Australians had a great first half of the Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Colombian fans had much to cheer for in the Giro d'Italia

Colombian fans had much to cheer for in the Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marco Canola gave Bardiani CSF its first stage win on stage 13

Marco Canola gave Bardiani CSF its first stage win on stage 13
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Storms left the road littered with hail on stage 13

Storms left the road littered with hail on stage 13
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) took over the race lead in the time trial

Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) took over the race lead in the time trial
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Cadel Evans (BMC) enjoyed his final day in the pink jersey on stage 11

Cadel Evans (BMC) enjoyed his final day in the pink jersey on stage 11
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Movistar's Adriano Malori became an internet meme, soldiering on in agony, in sharp contrast to melodramatic footballers.

Movistar's Adriano Malori became an internet meme, soldiering on in agony, in sharp contrast to melodramatic footballers.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Rogers' teammate Chris Anker Sorensen had less luck on stage 11

Rogers' teammate Chris Anker Sorensen had less luck on stage 11
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Michael Rogers wins his first Giro d'Italia stage with an attack on the descent to Savona

Michael Rogers wins his first Giro d'Italia stage with an attack on the descent to Savona
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A massive crash in the sprint on stage 10

A massive crash in the sprint on stage 10
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) wins his third stage of the Giro d'Italia

Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) wins his third stage of the Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

The first Grand Tour of the 2014 season is now behind us, but we can't stop looking back and reveling in all the exciting moments of the Giro d'Italia. From the opening three stages in Northern Ireland and Ireland, where the spectacular green landscapes only served to accentuate the pink that was everywhere. The rain couldn't dampen the enthusiasm of the fans. Orica-GreenEdge led the way by winning the first stage and holding the maglia rosa for the first seven stages before their luck began to slowly unravel.

The return to Italy was met with more rain, and the slick roads led to the only really dull stage of the race, when the peloton called a go-slow to avoid crashing. Even so, once they got to racing the final sprint was marred by a crash in the final bend. It was the beginning of Nacer Bouhanni's time to shine, as the Frenchman tallied up three wins in the second week.

The rain also gave the first bit of controversy for the race: on a shower-slicked roundabout, most of the peloton went down behind the pace making of the BMC team, and Cadel Evans rode on leaving his GC rivals in the dust. Amazingly, Michael Matthews was able to hang on through the final ascent to Montecassino, but his time in pink ended soon after.

With the sprinters left well behind on the stage to Montecopiolo, the jersey passed along to Evans, but Rigoberto Uran was his shadow. Unable to gain time on the Omega Pharma man, and ceded his maglia rosa in the stage 12 time trial.

That previous day, Adriano Malori (Movistar) was on his way to becoming the first internet meme of the race: a photo of him riding with a mud-coated, shredded team kit on to the finish after a crash in stage 11 went viral after being paired with an image of a melodramatic footballer feigning injury to draw a penalty on the opposing team. "Pretends he is injured" it said of the footballer. "Pretends he is OK", it said of Malori.

The drama came to a climax on stage 16, which would crest the highest altitudes of the race in weather that made roads barely passable. Crews worked day and night to clear snow from the pavement, but the freezing temperatures and fog, sleet, snow and rain the riders encountered on the Gavia and Stelvio passes raised objections from riders and directors alike.

The misunderstandings around the communications regarding the Stelvio descent - was it neutralized? was it not? - only made matters worse, as Nairo Quintana sailed away to the maglia rosa.

The polemics flew for days, but once the race headed to Cima Grappa and the Zoncolan, it became very clear that the time Quintana might have gained on that descent was far exceeded by the time he took heading uphill, and in the end he was crowned a worthy champion in Trieste, much to the delight of the entirety of Colombia.

Enjoy the full gallery here.