The 2014 Giro d'Italia will be remembered for the success of Colombians and the polemics of stage 16 along with sub-plots and several standout performances by an emerging young generation.
The Giro witnesses a a celebration of Colombian cycling with Nairo Quintana winning the maglia rosa, Rigoberto Uran's second place overall and Julian Arredondo's victory in the mountain classification in his first grand tour. The first week of the race belonged to Orica-GreenEdge and Australia after the Irish Grand Partenza but following Uran's Stage 12 win, it was the Giro d'Colombia.
There was the polemica of the Stelvio on stage 16 and the mass crash on stage 6 to Montecassino that ended overall aspirations for numerous riders but when the race arrived in Trieste on June 1, Quintana had proved he was the strongest rider across an entertaining three-weeks of racing.
Irishman Dan Martin and Garmin Sharp had a horror start to the Giro with a crash during the team time trial resulting in broken collarbones for Martin and Koldo Fernandez, immediately ending the race for both riders.
Several other riders would also crash out of the Giro but with the exception of stage 16, the adverse weather of last year's Giro was thankfully absent.
Despite that fact that no European's wore the maglia rosa, there was still six stage wins for Italy, three for France, two for Germany and one each for the Netherlands and Slovenia.
The tifosi will look back to the Giro as the moment that two young Italians confirmed their arrival on the big stage.
At last year's Giro, Fabio Aru was riding in support of Vincenzo Nibali but his third place overall signalled the arrival of a potential winner of the race while Diego Ulissi's two stage wins was further evidence that the younger generation has taken the mantle from the likes of Damiano Cunego, Michele Scarponi and Ivan Basso.
This was a race of youth with Marcel Kittel's two stage wins, Michael Matthews stage victory and six days in pink, Wilco Kelderman's seventh place overall and Nacer Bouhanni's three stage wins all confirmation of a new generation performing at the highest level.
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