Talented Australian duo Lucas Hamilton and Jai Hindley have sealed second and third overall at the Giro Ciclistico d’Italia after Hindley took the win, with Hamilton second, on the final stage today.
Mitchelton-SCOTT, who finished the Tour with two stage wins following Hamilton’s victory in the time trial on Tuesday, was also awarded the best team prize.
A big target for the team, the U23 Giro d’Italia is one of the biggest races on the calendar and the Chinese-registered UCI Continental team performed wonderfully over the course of the last seven days.
Going into today’s final stage second and third respectively on the general classification, Hindley and Hamilton benefitted from a team steeped in climbing talent and excellent pre-race preparation and threw all their cards on the table up the final Hors Category climb up to Campo Imperatore.
Despite the efforts of the two young Australians, Pavel Sivakov (BMC-Development-Team) held on to finish third on the stage and claim the overall victory.
“I’m very happy to have won the stage today,” said Hindley. “The wind on the final climb really played a big factor and there was no chance to attack until the last couple of kilometres. The team have been fantastic all week and the course really suited us today, it’s a shame we couldn’t dislodge the leader, but we gave everything we’ve got.”
Robert Stannard also rode very well today and finished in third place in the best young rider category capping off a great week for the team.
“The team has been ridiculously strong all week,” said Hamilton. “All of these guys are capable of winning in their own right and I’m sure that Jai would agree that we are fortunate to have had such strong support. This is one of the biggest races of our season and I must say I really enjoy racing in Italy.”
“I’m very happy with our performances and the result, for sure there’s some mixed emotion because it was so close, but I’m sure once it all settles down I will be very proud of our achievement.”
A stage win for Hamilton in the time trial on stage 5b and another strong result for Hindley on stage 6 set up the showdown for the general classification on the final day and sport director James Victor praised the perseverance of the young team.
“This was our big mid-season target and also our first European race as Mitchelton-SCOTT,” explained Victor. “We have come away with two stage wins, second and third overall and the best team award. Full credit to the guys for how strong and disciplined they have been all week. We had some misfortune at times, but we bounced back and stayed focused on our goal.”
“Credit also to BMC and Sivakov, they were committed and defended the leader’s jersey doggedly and obviously have some talented riders whom Jai and Lucas will go up against in the near future. We can take a lot of confidence from this race and also use it as a learning curve. We dealt very well the with pressure and expectation and we can definitely be satisfied.
“It is really pleasing to see how the team acquitted themselves here and we will certainly be in contention for our next big races on the calendar. It is important that we continue with our preparation and development and channel our energies into our next objective, which will be the Giro Ciclistico della Valle d’Aosta in July.”
Giro Ciclistico d’Italia stage seven results:
1. Jai Hindley (Mitchelton-SCOTT)
2. Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-SCOTT)
3. Pavel Sivakov (BMC-Development-Team)
Final General Classification:
1. Pavel Sivakov (BMC-Development-Team)
2. Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:09
3. Jai Hindley (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:17