"This is a really big win for myself" - Tim Merlier takes third stage win of 2024 Giro d'Italia on Rome cobbles

Taking his third stage win at the 2024 Giro d'Italia, Soudal - Quick-Step's Tim Merlier powered across the Roman cobbles to victory on the final stage in a dramatic sprint finish.

"I need to say sorry to the guys, I just could not follow them today. It was so hectic," the Belgian, who matches the Maglia Ciclamino of Jonathan Milan for three stage wins at the 2024 Giro d'Italia with this latest victory, having held off the Lidl-Trek powerhouse in the fight for the line. "I was with Bert van Lerberghe until 2km to go, but then I saw him try something and I couldn't take his wheel so must say sorry. But, in the end, I took the win for the team."

Taking his career tally of Grand Tour stage wins to five, Merlier proved once again why he is considered amongst the fastest sprinters in the entirety of the World Tour. "I told Bert that if I can enter the cobbles in position five or six then I'll go from far on the cobbles like I did already at Nokere Koerse also," he says with a smile, referencing the race in which he has dominated over past years. "I tried the same tactic here and it worked."

"This is a really big win for myself. It feels a bit strange because everybody was already drinking beer and everything yesterday on the plane," he laughs. "Today we still needed to race. We did the first part easy and then in the end it was full gas. So for me, this kind of race is a bit special and for any sprinter this would be a really nice victory here."

Giro d'Italia 2024 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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