Perfect in pink! Tadej Pogacar takes scintillating sixth stage win at 2024 Giro d'Italia to cap off epic Grand Tour performance

The final 'proper' stage of the 2024 Giro d'Italia before the processional finale in Rome, stage 20 has seen Tadej Pogacar make it a scintillating sixth stage win with yet another performance for the ages on the Monte Grappa climb.

In the fight for the breakaway on the final mountainous stage of the 2024 Giro d'Italia, 11 men found themselves up the road. Best placed general classification-wise was Alpecin-Deceuninck's Nicola Conci at 49:58. Also in the group was stage 19 winner Andrea Vendrame of Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team and stage 6 winner, Pelayo Sanchez of Movistar Team among others.

With over 100km still to go, Tadej Pogacar was involved in a lengthy discussion back at the medical car. Eventually the Maglia Rosa was given a tissue of some kind, that he wiped repeatedly on both arms. After it was revealed to be nothing more than the Slovenian requiring some extra sunscreen however, the drama was quickly squashed.

On the first ascent of the Monte Grappa, Pogacar's UAE Team Emirates teammates were setting a fierce pace on the front of the peloton. As such numerous riders were being jettisoned out the back and the time gap between Maglia Rosa group and leaders on the road was being properly slashed. From over four minutes at the bottom of the climb, the gap was just 1:00 at the top to the four leaders, Pelayo Sanchez, Jimmy Janssens, Alessandro Tonelli and the counter-attacking Giulio Pellizzari.

With the very impressive Pellizzari continuing to put on the acceleration on the descent, the leading trio after Janssens was dropped, extended their advantage back up over two and a half minutes at the foot of the second ascent of the towering Monte Grappa. Once the climbing began though, Pellizzari was soon all alone at the head of the race with 46km to go.

Although Pellizzari was fighting hard to keep the lead over two minutes, when Felix Grossschartner took over at the front of the Maglia Rosa group, there was a noticeable rise in the number of riders in trouble at the back of the GC bunch. When Rafal Majka took over though, the GC group exploded with even the likes of Geraint Thomas, Thymen Arensman and Ben O'Connor in difficulty.

With 36.1km to go on the stage, 5.3km to go on the climb, Pogacar launched. With Pellizzari still around 30 seconds up the road, the chase was on for yet another Giro d'Italia stage win. Quickly making his way up the Italian, Pogacar and Pellizzari briefly formed a duo but with 34km to go, the Slovenian was all alone at the front of the race. Behind Pogacar, a trio of Daniel Martinez, Antonio Tiberi and Einer Rubio were proving the strongest of the rest of the GC contenders.

So considerable was Pogacar's advantage and so in control was the Slovenian that he even managed to make the day of a young fan. Taking a bottle from a soigneur, Pogacar immediately pulled over to a young boy in an Astana coat and handed the bottle straight to him without even taking a sip.

Pushing his overall lead at the Giro up towards the ten minute mark, Pogacar was still descending full-gas. Behind, things were starting to regroup behind meaning Daniel Martinez was securing second place and Geraint Thomas securing a second successive Giro d'Italia podium, extending his own record for the eldest man ever to crack the top-3 in the long and storied history of the Giro d'Italia.

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