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Giro d'Italia 2015: Stage 21


Welcome to live coverage of the Giro d'Italia Stage 21 from Turin to Milan

How time flies! Welcome to the final stage of the 2015 Giro d'Italia. The riders are signing on and we should be on our way to Milan very soon.

The jersey wearers are all on the start line. Alberto Contador and Fabio Aru are all smiles as they wait for the start to be given. It should be an easy enough day for the pair.

Fabio Aru has a special helmet on today with the Sardianian flag on it. He's not the only one and Katusha posted this picture of Luca Paolini with his special helmet design.

The peloton are making their way through the neutralised section. Just 185 kilometres separate them from the finish in Milan.

There are a few small lumps and bumps today but nothing that constitutes a climb and a sprint should be a foregone conclusion today but there'll be plenty of riders looking to spoil that.

Yesterday was another exciting stage yesterday as Alberto Contador struggled while Fabio Aru stormed away to his second consecutive win. Here is how it finished on stage 20 of the Giro.

Despite losing more than two minutes, Alberto Contador easily held onto his maglia rosa. Today's stage shouldn't have any impact on the overall classification so this is how it should look at the end of today as Contador steps up to take his race winner's trophy.

While today is a sprint stage, there aren't so many sprinters remaining after a tough final week. Sacha Modolo has been one of the strongest in the latter stages of the race while last year's final day winner Luke Mezgec is looking for a repeat performance.

The flag has dropped and we are racing.

Alberto Contador is riding a pink bike today in honour of his win. You can see it, and Oleg Tinkov's new hairdo, in this picture posted by team manager Stefano Feltrin.

Alberto Contador showed one of his first signs of weakness throughout this Giro d'Italia during yesterday's stage, as he was unable to follow the late attack. The Spaniard says he was never worried that his overall lead was about to slip away. Read a transcript of Contador's post-stage press conference here.

A nice relaxed start to today's stage as Alberto Contador and his Tinkoff-Saxo team celebrate their overall victory. Prosecco all around.

All of the 163 riders that finished yesterday left the start this morning. Alessandro Petacchi won't be in the mix for the sprint today as he failed to finish stage 20 due to a fever.

Oleg Tinkov seems to be enjoying himself more than anyone else during this final stage.

149km remaining from 178km

Astana have managed to put two riders on the podium at the Giro d'Italia with Fabio Aru and Mikel Landa. It was Landa that sparked everything off with his attack yesterday and looked like he might move back into second place but according to the 25-year-old, the team told him to wait for Aru.

As we wait for the action to pick up in today's stage, refresh your memory of what happened yesterday with our stage highlights. You can find highlights off all the stages on our YouTube page.

Almost all of the jerseys have been secured with Alberto Contador taking pink, Fabio Aru in the white young rider's jersey and Giovanni Visconti in the blue mountains jersey. Still up for grabs though it the red jersey. This is how the points classification stands at the moment.

After the first hour of racing the peloton is still all together and the average speed has been a relatively sedate 37.2kph.

Today is the 85th time that Milan will host a stage finish at the Giro d'Italia. The last time the race finished in Milan was the 2013 Giro where Marco Pinotti took the honours in an individual time trial. The real excitement was behind him as Ryder Hesjedal beat Joaquim Rodríguez by 16 seconds in the overall classification.

116km remaining from 178km

Today's stage finishes with seven circuits, of 5 kilometres in length, around the centre of Milan.

After a tough start to the week, Fabio Aru fought back in the last two mountain stages and broke away to win both of the. Rumour has it, Vino wants to send him to the Tour de France.

The riders are approaching the first of two intermediate sprints for the day. With no escape as of yet, there are full points available for the red jersey contenders. We can expect a hotly contested battle for the points.

The second hour of racing was a little bit quicker than the first but the peloton is still taking it relatively easy with an average speed of 37.2kph. We can expect it to pick up drastically when they hit the final circuit.

While the Giro d'Italia has often finished in Milan, most recently that has been with a time trial. Today's stage is the first time since 2007 that the Italian Grand Tour will finish with a sprint stage into Milan.

94km remaining from 178km

Three BMC riders and a Lampre-Merida rider have gone clear as we near the first intermediate sprint. Philippe Gilbert is among them.

The riders that have gone off the front are Max Richeze (Lmapre-Merida), Philippe Gilbert, Marcus Burghardt and Silvan Dillier.

Gilbert is in with a shout of taking the points classification today if he can take a decent haul. That's obviously what BMC are interested in and the gap has come out to over a minute now. There is a group of chasers at 30 seconds behind.

Gilbert takes the points as Tinkoff-Saxo lead the bunch calmly to the intermediate sprint point.

Sacha Modolo moves to the front to take the points in the bunch while the other main contenders for this jersey keep their nose clean. There are 50 points available at the finish.

The three BMC rider and Richeze have sat up and are taking this easy as they wait for the bunch. They had the element of surprise this time but the other teams will be wise to it for the second intermediate sprint.

The BMC riders and Richeze have now been caught by the peleton, but AG"R's Patrick Gretsch and Axel Domont have got a small gap.

The two AG2R riders don't get particularly far and they're almost immediately caught by the bunch.

81km remaining from 178km

It's lunch time for the peloton and Ivan Basso seems to be offering around some cake between his teammates. A nice easy pace in the pack as they ride through San Martino.

Alberto Contador shows three fingers to the camera, indicating his three Giro victories. However, the record books will only show two after he had his 2011 victory taken away when he was given a retrospective ban after he tested positive for Clenbuterol in 2010.

71km remaining from 178km

The peloton has just passed through the feed zone and the pace has been knocked off once again.

The Winston-Salem Classic criterium took place yesterday with Ryan taking victory in the women's race and White in the men's. Take a look at our full report, gallery and results right here.

After splitting up going through the feed zone the peloton have grouped back together 64 kilometres still to go.

Marco Coledan will be going home 500 CHF lighter after he was handed a fine for stopping short of the finish line to ensure that he finished last in the overall classification. You can read about that here plus news on Konig's top 10 finish and Alessandro Petacchi's abandon.

Giacomo Nizzolo pays a visit to the medical car. He gets some medication from the doctor and is back on his way. He'll be looking to keep that red jersey at the finish and maybe take the stage win. 

The red jersey is the only one still up for grabs today. Philippe Gilbert took the points at the first intermediate sprint but there is still one more to go and of course the points at the finish. Here is how things looked this morning before the start.

Michael Rogers leads the peloton under the 50km to go banner and there is no sign of any attack just yet. The average speed of the 3rd hour was just over 58kph.

The riders are on the outskirts of Milan and they should be in the city proper in just under 10 kilometres. Teams like Giant and FDJ are slowly moving towards the front, ready to take up the pace setting.

36km remaining from 178km

The GC teams are still near the front, with Tinkoff-Saxo at the head of the bunch as they have been all day. Most of the roads are pretty narrow and the riders will have to be vigilant to avoid any incidents.

29km remaining from 178km

A double puncture for Eurgenio Alafaci. The Trek Rider standing with just the frame in his hand as the team car arrives.

Five laps to go for the riders and the next time around they will be fighting it out for the intermediate sprint. The two leaders have just over 30 seconds on the bunch.

23km remaining from 178km

Team Sky have moved to the front as Tinkoff-Saxo take a break for the first time. They're obviously interested in the points for Elia Viviani.

Keisse leads the escapees over the line, with Durbridge tucked in his wheel. No contest between then.

In the bunch, it is Nizzolo who takes the points easily and he extends his lead in the red jersey classification.

Some argy bargy between Nizzolo and Richeze. The Trek Factory Racing rider comes up to the Lampre-Merida rider and gives him a shoulder barge before he takes his position at the back of the team Sky train. Will that be looked at by the race jury later?

There's a bit more handbags between Nizzolo and the Lampre team and some heavy discussion going on. This should make the sprint extra interesting.

14km remaining from 178km

Konig the next puncture victim and there must be something out on the road. A lot of punctures happening in this finishing circuit. 

12km remaining from 178km

Konig has managed to get back onto the peloton with the help of several teammates. They'll want to get back up to the front of the bunch as soon as possible to help Viviani.

With Sky somewhere near the back of the peloton it is TInkoff-Saxo doing the work on the front again. They've got Katusha behind them and Lampre just behind them again.

10km remaining from 178km

Haussler punctures now as does several other riders. If they're not careful the teams will run out of replacement equipment.

8km remaining from 178km

LottoNL Jumbo have sent a man to the front. They'll be looking after Kruijswijk but they've also got Moreno Hofland for the sprint.

6km remaining from 178km

5km remaining from 178km

Last lap and the breakaway have less than 30 seconds now.

Lampre on the front now and the peloton is really stung out. Gaps are beginning to appear too.

3km remaining from 178km

Patrick Gretsch has had enough and he attacks but he doesn't have much of an advantage.

2km remaining from 178km

1km remaining from 178km

Keisse sitting on Durbridge's wheel as the Aussie flicks his elbow.

Flamme rouge and you'd have to pick Keisse for this

Durbridge trying to make Keisse pick things up but the Belgian refuses.

300m to go and the sprinters are just behind them.

Keisse wins

Durbridge he gives his break companion a hug after he crosses the line.

Contador is mobbed as he crosses the line. He's secured his place on the top spot in the overall classification.

Confirmation of the top 10 for today's stage.

And here is the official top 10 overall for this year's Giro d'Italia.

Alberto Contador is on the top step of the podium as he listens to the Spanish national anthem. He'll enjoy this moment but he'll be thinking about the Tour de France pretty son.

That's it from us today and for the entire Giro d'Italia. Thank you for joining us throughout the last three weeks. Keep on Cyclingnews though for all the reaction from today's stage, you can also find our report here.

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