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As it happened: Tadej Pogačar wins Giro d'Italia as Tim Merlier wins Rome sprint


Buongiorno and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 21 of the 2024 Giro d'Italia!

It is the final stage of the 2024 Giro d'Italia. Three weeks of intense racing around Italy coming to a close with a circuit around the capital city of Rome. Tadej Pogačar (UAD) was expected to dominate and he hasn't disappointed. What a performance for the superstar Slovenian. 

Going into the final stage, the jerseys look like this:

Even the UAE Team Emirates team bus has got the pink treatment in Rome.

Of course, this race didn't quite kick off the way Pogačar (UAD) was hoping as the Slovenian tried to take pink on stage one but was thwarted by the Ecuadorian champion, Jhonatan Narváez (IGD).

After that, Pogačar (UAD) settled into the race with a few sprint stages taking place. However, both he and Geraint Thomas (IGD) hijacked a late attack by Mikkel Honore (EFE) on stage three and almost surprised the peloton. But, Tim Merlier (SOQ) stole the win in the first bunch sprint of the race. 

The gravel of Tuscany then came for the riders with yet more breakaway success and a first Grand Tour win for Pelayo Sanchez (MOV) who outsprinted former world champion, Julian Alaphilipppe (SOQ). But, the Frenchman wasn't done with the race just yet.

The breakaway opened week two with a win and it was Valentin Paret-Peintre (DAT) who not only took his first Grand Tour win, but, he also took his first win as a pro. Matching his brother, Aurelien, who took a stage at the Giro in 2023.

The final week was greeted with another Pogačar (UAD) win as the pink jersey stretched his lead and actually looked like he wasn't even trying as he tapped away on the pedals and left the rest behind. 

But, today, it is back to the sprinters with Jonathan Milan (LTK) taking three wins, three seconds and one fifth. Tim Merlier (SOQ) has take two wins. The only other sprinter to come out with a win was Olav Kooij (TVL) who left the race after his stage 9 win. 

A nice custom kit for UAE Team Emirates as they show off their leader at sign on, earlier today. 

Very toasty weather on stage 21 in Rome with the temperature up at 27°C, that is around 81°F. 

The riders have started the neutral zone. 

125km to go

Pogačar and his UAE Team Emirates team have had their photos on the front, It is now the turn of Jonathan Milan and his Lidl-Trek team. 

Antonio Tiberi and his Bahrain Victorious team now on the front as the Italian rider becomes the first native to win white since Fabio Aru in 2015. 

Team after team moving up to have their time at the front and to get their photos. Decathlon-AG2R La Mondiale look to be next as they have dominated the team standings in the end as they beat Ineos Grenadiers by almost 45 minutes. 

The jerseys at this year's Giro d'Italia... While Giulio Pellizzari (VBF) hasn't won the mountains jersey and is just wearing it for Tadej Pogačar (UAD), it feels like he deserves to be up there with the other jersey winners of Pogačar, Milan (LTK) and Tiberi (TBV). 

UAE Team Emirates have now upped the pace as they still head to the coast. Mikkel Bjerg has the lead and they are ticking along at 50kph. 

Now riding along the sea front with UAE Team Emirates continuing to lead. VF Group-Bardiani CSF-Faizane and Ineos Grenadiers slotted in behind them followed by the rest of the bunch. 

100km to go

The peloton is rolling along nicely at a steady pace now UAE Team Emirates have knocked back the tempo. 

A special day today for Domenico Pozzovivo as the Italian VF Group-Bardiani CSF-Faizane veteran completes his 18th and final Giro d'Italia at the age of 41 where he is set to finish 20th in GC at +56'32" behind Pogačar (UAD). 

80km to go

Domenico Pozzovivo (VBF) has been allowed to lead onto the circuit in Rome solo as the 41-year-old takes in his final ever Giro d'Italia stage. 

Pozzovivo (VBF) caught and the sprinters teams get to work with Pieter Serry leading the way for Tim Merlier's Soudal-QuickStep. 

Alpecin-Deceuninck and Lidl-Trek join Soudal-QuickStep on the front of the peloton working for Kaden Groves and Jonathan Milan. These three have been ever present at the front on sprint stages. 


Andrea Pietrobon (PTK), leader in the Fuga prize (most KMs at front of race), is trying to bridge across the gap. 

Tudor drag Pietrobon (PTK) back as they add their firepower to the chase for Dainese. 

Have a look at our amazing gallery from this superb race by clicking the link below...

It has been a brutal last few stages for Ben O'Connor (DAT) as he battled illness in his fight for the GC.

And what a wonderful Giro it has been by Giulio Pellizzari (VBF) who has become the darling of Italian cycling, He wears the KoM jersey but doesn't own it out right. He also has a couple of top 10s and a second place. A very bright future ahead for him. 

60km to go

The peloton now holding the break at +15". 


Not a bad place to ride your bike... 

The breakaway now have around +30" on the peloton led by Lidl-Trek, Tudor and Soudal-QuickStep as Alpecin-Deceuninck have disappeared from the front. 

40km to go

Across the finish line once again. This is a very tricky finale for the race and for a sprint stage too. Final corner coming with around 225 metres to go. 


UAE Team Emirates have put a rider in to work so that Sebastian Molano can have a go in the sprint. 

Rear puncture

30km to go

Jimmy Janssens (ADC) is back on the front for Kaden Groves (ADC) as the break are in sight of the peloton with three laps to go. 

The break are riding together very well. They're also having some fun as they're smiling at each other as they really push the tempo. 

20km to go

A very special moment for Martin Marcellusi (VBF) as he is the only rider from Rome in the race this year. 

Two laps to go and the gap are at +15". 


Break caught. 

Michael Storer (TUD) getting caught up in that crash could be disastrous as he is 10th overall. 

Storer (TUD) should be okay in 10th on GC as he still has almost three minutes on his closest rival of Filippo Zana (JAY). 

10km to go

UAE Team Emirates now take over control with one lap to go. The final 9km of this year's Giro d'Italia. 

Bike change

Ineos Grenadiers now take it up in the peloton with Connor Swift leading the way. They are merged with the UAE Team Emirates train. 

7km to go and Alpecin-Deceuninck come to the front en masse with +44" back to the points leader, Jonathan Milan (LTK) who is out of it. 

5km to go. Milan (LTK) is in the cars and is riding frantically. He could get back in but to get to the front again and compete for the win, that is going to be near impossible. +26" back to Milan who is doing a very good job, but is it enough? 

Stoerer (TUD) is still out of the back too as Milan (LTK) flies passed the Aussie with their respected team cars helping them out. 

Milan (LTK) is back in the peloton! Wow. That is a very good ride by him, but with 4km to go, can Ghebreigzabhier possibly drag him back to the front? 

Onto the climb we go and Pogačar (UAD) is right up to the front. Groupama-FDJ is leading the way for the moment. 

Lidl-Trek have done an incredible job as they are guiding Milan back to the front to have a go in this sprint. This would be a monumental effort for the giant Italian. 3km to go. 

Max Walscheid (JAY) hits the front for Ewan (JAY). Pogačar (UAD) almost got caught out by a rider finishing his turn. But now, the pink jersey hits the front to help his teammate, Molano. 

Flamme Rouge!

Soudal-Quickstep and Alpecin-Deceuninck challenge Lidl-Trek with 500 metres to go. Molano (UAD) there too. 

Tim Merlier (SOQ) wins stage 21 of the Giro d'Italia and incredibly Jonathan Milan (LTK) finishes just behind him in second place. 

But behind that, Tadej Pogačar (UAD) wins the Giro d'Italia 2024. 

Tim Merlier (SOQ) continues his brilliant form by taking his third stage win at this Giro d'Italia making it 10 victories this season. 

S21 top 10

Final GC

Tim Merlier (SOQ) likening his sprint style at Nokere Koerse on the Nokereberg cobbled climb to what he did today and it did work perfectly for him. He is so good at sprinting on cobbles. 

Get the immediate reaction with our post race report by clicking the link below and keep an eye on our website for all the quotes and reactions as they come in as well as all the results from the others races this week.

Tim Merlier (SOQ) after his superb third win at this race:

Final jerseys:

A perfect setting for a wonderful final podium for the top three in the general classification with Tadej Pogačar (UAD) flanked by Dani Martínez (BOH) and Geraint Thomas (IGD). 

Our Head of News Stephen Farrand heard from Geraint Thomas following the race finish today.

Pogacar was unsurprisingly on the podium more than once today.

And of course, he was typical Tadej in the maglia rosa too...

He also showcased his custom bike.

And let's not forget Julian Alaphilippe who nabbed the overall combativity prize.

It's been quite a few weeks of racing at the Giro, and thank you for joining us for the ride. 

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