"He still came second!" - Lidl-Trek teammates blown away by Jonathan Milan's immense recovery on stage 21 of Giro d'Italia in Rome

Heading into the final sprint of the 2024 Giro d'Italia in the iconic and picturesque city of Rome, Lidl-Trek's Maglia Ciclamino winning Jonathan Milan was the pre-stage favourite. Sadly for the Italian, he was forced to settle for second in the final sprint.

Possibly the main reason for this was that with 9km to go, Milan was the unfortunate victim of the most ill-time mechanical. Just as the pace of the peloton was reaching fever pitch, Milan was stuck at the side of the road waiting for his Lidl-Trek team car to come up to him with a new bike. Despite a successful and frantic chase back to the front, in the end, Milan just didn't quite have enough left in his legs to power around Tim Merlier in the fight for the line.

"What looked like a flat tyre at first glance turned out to be another mechanical failure," Lidl-Trek teammate Daan Hoole explained to Eurosport post-stage. "He broke his chain here. We still had to move all the way from the back. Especially on the bits uphill it took a lot of energy. Merlier had a small gap at the start and unfortunately Milan couldn't make up for it."

"It's really unfortunate how it went but he still came second!" Hoole continues. "Certainly with the lead-out we had here, he could definitely have won. That would have made it completely special. It shouldn't spoil the celebration though, because we just rode a good Giro. ‘It was super nice with three stages and the purple jersey."

2024 Giro d'Italia stage 21 results:

1 MERLIER Tim Soudal Quick-Step 180 02:51:50
2 MILAN Jonathan Lidl-Trek 130 + 00
3 GROVES Kaden Alpecin-Deceuninck 95 + 00
4 GAVIRIA Fernando Movistar Team 80 + 00
5 VAN DIJKE Tim Team Visma | Lease a Bike 60 + 00
6 ANIOLKOWSKI Stanislaw Cofidis 45 + 00
7 DAINESE Alberto Tudor Pro Cycling Team 40 + 00
8 LONARDI Giovanni Team Polti Kometa 35 + 00
9 EWAN Caleb Team Jayco-AlUla 30 + 00
10 GRONDIN Donavan ARKEA-B&B HOTELS 25 + 00

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