Giro d'Italia: Stage 21

Leader Vincenzo Nibali wraps up victory as Mark Cavendish wins the red points jersey on the final stage.

26 May 2013 Last updated at 15:47 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 1645: 

    And that seems like a good place to end our coverage of the 2013 Giro d'Italia. I hope you've enjoyed reading it as much as we've enjoyed putting it all together. We will be back with live texts and radio commentary of the 2013 Tour de France which starts on Saturday, 29 June. With Britain's Chris Froome challenging Alberto Contador for the yellow jersey, the possibility of Sir Brad attempting to defend the title he won last year and Cavendish going for the green points jersey, it promises to be a belter.

    Until then, thanks for your company over the last three weeks and pedal safely.

  2. 1642: 

    And now it's time to crown the winner of the points classification. Cav is back again and it's on with the red jersey and more flowers, kisses, fizz and smiles.

  3. 1637:  
    Pink Jersey, Giro d'Italia leader

    It is Nibali's second Grand Tour win after winning the Vuelta a Espana in 2010 and he is determined to enjoy every minute of this, singing every word of Il Canto degli Italiani - The Song of the Italians. His Astana team-mates join him on the podium as he is handed the golden Giro trophy and each member gives it a wee kiss.

  4. 1633:  
    Pink Jersey, Giro d'Italia leader

    Here come the end-of-race presentations. Third-placed Cadel Evans is first up, with his young son in his arms. And then the beaming Rigoberto Uran of Team Sky skips out and climbs on to the second step. But the biggest cheer is understandably reserved for Vincenzo Nibali, who looks close to tears as takes the plaudits of the assembled masses and removes his cap for the Italian national anthem.

  5. 1630: 

    2013 Giro d'Italia final standings:

    1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Astana) 84:53:28"

    2. Rigoberto Uran (Col/Team Sky) +4'43"

    3. Cadel Evans (Aus/BMC Racing) +5'52"

    4. Michele Scarponi (Ita/Lampre) +6'48"

    5. Carlos Betancur (Col/AG2R) +7'28"

  6. 1629: 

    Stage 21 result:

    1. Mark Cavendish (GB/Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) 5:30:09"

    2. Sacha Modolo (Ita/Bardiani Valvole) ST

    3. Elia Viviani (Ita/Cannondale)

    4. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita/RadioShack)

    5. Luka Mezgec (Slo/Argos)

  7. 1628: 

    Here comes Cav onto the podium to receive his flowers and the obligatory kiss on each cheek from the promo girls for winning the final stage. The bubbles are sprayed over the photographers and he disappears backstage - he will be back soon though for the presentation of the red jersey.

  8. 1625:  
    Pink Jersey, Giro d'Italia leader

    And here's our race winner, Vincenzo Nibali: "I'm very happy. I'm very emotional. It's beautiful, the whole team was very strong and they've done a great job all along. It is a beautiful day for me."

  9.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Mark Jones on Twitter: Great finish, great achievement for Cav #sircav thanks BBC for superb and entertaining coverage this last 3 weeks.

    Small Man Peaky on Twitter: Incredible sprint by Cav! 300+ out and had to kick to pass Modolo. He's looking very good for green at the TdF. #bbccycling

  10. 1621: 

    Cav was also keen to dampen down talk that the move from Team Sky to Omega Pharma Quick-Step this year was a little rocky: "I've had good form all year and settled in well at Omega Pharma," he said. "I'm really happy. We've bonded so well and that shows in the results."

  11. 1619: 

    Before that happens though, here's a few words from a beaming Cavendish: "I'm so so happy. It couldn't have been closer coming down to the last day. Everyone knew i was going to go for the intermediates and i was lucky that there are some gentlemen in the peloton. The stage was lengthened by 10km so we didn't know what lap we were sprinting for. But then we took control for the finish and although Cannondale came quickly we didn't panic in to the headwind finish."

  12. 1615: 

    It looks like the entire population of Brescia is out on the streets, filling every available inch between the medieval buildings as they await to crown their champion.

  13. 1614:  
    Pink Jersey, Giro d'Italia leader

    And Nibali was not too difficult to spot as he safely crossed the line in the main bunch to confirm his overall victory in the race. Team Sky, who lost Sir Bradley Wiggins to illness, rallied well to finish second overall with Colombian Rigoberto Uran demonstrating his GC credentials, while Cadel Evans came home third.

  14. 1612: 

    Poor old Viviani had to look at Cavendish's backside disappearing into the distance again as the Italian rider could only finish third behind Bardiani Valvole rider Modolo.

  15. 1609:  
    Rob Hayles, Former GB cyclist and 5 live sports extra commentator

    "Mark Cavendish came into this year's Giro expecting the sprinters to have only three stages to go for and he's won five. That's incredible. He had to work so hard for that. Sacha Modolo actually got in front of him but Cav was on the back foot and had to dig deep."

  16. 1608: 
    CHAMPAGNE MOMENT

    MARK CAVENDISH WINS RED POINTS JERSEY

  17. 1607: 
    CHAMPAGNE MOMENT

    VINCENZO NIBALI WINS 2013 GIRO D'ITALIA

  18. 1605: 
    CHAMPAGNE MOMENT

    MARK CAVENDISH WINS GIRO D'ITALIA STAGE 21

  19. 1605: 

    Cav settles in behind the Cannondale team - he's in a decent spot here as they go into the final 500m.

  20. 1604: 

    Here comes the Cannondale train as they go inside the final kilometre. It's Cav v Viviani again. Who is going to get this?

  21. 1603: 

    Inside the final 3km and Cav at third wheel - a bit further forward than he usually is at this stage. But he's got two team-mates in front of him. How long will they pace him for - he needs them to stick with it into the final 400m at least.

  22. 1602: 

    Cav has got five team-mates to pace him through this final lap. A couple of Radioshack and Garmin-Sharp riders take over the pace but Cav is well-placed at fifth wheel.

  23. 1600: 

    The riders come through to the bell and we are on the last lap - just 4.2km left in the 2013 Giro. Stay safe Cav. Stay safe Nibali. Here comes the Cannondale train, with five riders, getting up alongside Omega Pharma Quick-Step.

  24. 1557: 

    There are just two laps of this 4.2km circuit to go. The sun continues to shine and Omega Pharma Quick-Step continue to up the pace. I'm expecting the Cannondale team of Viviani to come through soon and here come the Orica GreenEdge riders.

  25. 1554: 

    Back in Brescia and the Omega Pharma Quick-Step team are leading the peloton round tight streets. Cav is clearly not done yet and wants a fifth stage win of the 2013 Giro to cap off an excellent three weeks for the Briton. Just 9km of the stage and race to go.

  26. 1552: 

    And the Tour of Belgium has been won by Germany's Tony Martin, who is one of Mark Cavendish's Omega Pharma Quick-Step team-mates. Spain's Luis Leon Sanchez won final stage.

  27. 1551: 

    There are other races going on today and Britain's Olympic track champion Dani King has won the elite women's event at the 2013 Milk Race in Nottingham this afternoon.

  28.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Rhidian Jones on Twitter: Any chance you think nibali will be tempted to have a go at the TDF? Seems he is in great shape.

    Mark Jones on Twitter: Agree with Dave, Cav has achieved so much and today he'll make some more history lets start the recognition campaign now #sircav

    Jack Scullion on Twitter: Hahaha so winning the Tour de France and becoming the most successful British Olympian of all time mean nothing to you Dave? #bbccycling

  29. 1549:  
    Rob Hayles, Former GB cyclist and 5 live sports extra commentator

    "I think it will be extra special for Mark to win it at the Giro because he didn't know if he was going to make it through the whole race. The green jersey at the Tour de France is his priority. If he had have got through to this stage of the race and then not won the red jersey it would have been heartbreaking for him."

  30. 1547: 

    Points standing mid-way through stage 21:

    1 Mark Cavendish (GB/Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) 133

    2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Astana) 128

    3 Cadel Evans (Aus/BMC) 111

    4 Carlos Betancur (Col/Ag2r-La Mondiale) 108

    5 Rigoberto Uran (Col/Team Sky) 102

  31. 1546: 

    Here we come across the line then and Cavendish again leads the peloton over the line and this time he will pick up eight points and assume the lead in the race for the red points jersey. Now all he has to do is make it across the finish line in 15km. Wonder if he's seen the Abdoujaporov Tour de France video?

  32. 1541: 

    We are inside the last 20km of the stage and Simon Brotherton reckons the next time they cross the finish line will be for the eight intermediate sprints that Cav covets.

  33. 1540:  
    Simon Brotherton, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentator

    "This is an utter shambles. You can almost see the steam coming out of Mark Cavendish's ears."

  34. 1540: 

    No official confirmation from the race organisers yet so Cav and his Omega Pharma Quick-Step team-mates continue to pull the peloton along as they come into the final 500m of the third lap. Cav is clearly not happy and mutters a couple of expletives as he crosses the line first again but it looks like that one is not going to count either.

  35. 1537: 

    Androni Giocattoli rider Giairo Ermetti leaps out from the front of the peloton but Cav quickly moves alongside him and gives the Italian an earful as he rides past him and zips over the finish line first. But there is confusion as to whether that was the official intermediate sprint. Si Brotherton on commentary says his leaflet suggests it is on lap four, Rob Hayles's booklet says it is lap three. Cav went for it on stage two! I'll keep you posted...

  36. 1534: 

    He's not there yet Dave! Remember, last year he missed out on winning the red jersey by one point, Cav and his Omega Pharma Quick-Step team-mates have moved up towards the front of the peloton.

  37.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Dave in Southport, via text on 81111: With Cav fast becoming the greatest sprinter ever, why has he not got his knighthood yet. Hoy and Wiggins have achieved less so come on let's give Cav the same recognition.

  38. 1530: 

    Stefano Garzelli of the Vini Fantini team, at 39 years of age the oldest man in the race, is allowed to ride clear of the peloton and over the finish line on his own. It is cycling's way of honouring the Italian who is retiring after this race. The winner of the Giro in 2000 gives a wave to the thousands lining the streets. Seven laps of 4.2km each remaining.

  39. 1526: 

    Any ideas where Britain's Sir Bradley Wiggins might be today? Wiggins, who was among the favourites to win the Giro d'Italia but was forced to abandon the race through illness, has been spotted by a BBC Sport journalist at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. Sir Wiggo is a huge Wigan Warriors fan and is at Manchester City's ground for rugby league's Magic Weekend.

  40. 1523: 

    Cadel Evans, who was second for so long in the race before he suffered a mechanical problem on the final climb to Tre Cime di Lavaredo is fairly philosophical about his Giro.

    He said: "It's been an intense, hard three weeks and I came here with minimal preparation and although I would obviously have rather held on to second or being first, if you knew how little I had in my legs then you'd know it's a fantastic result."

    Evans, who will finish on the podium in third place, is really preparing for the Tour de France in June and July.

  41. 1518: 

    The riders are coming into Brescia and will cross the finish line soon and then after a couple of the seven laps round the city, there will be the second intermediate sprint. Can Cav take the points he needs? Tweet me #bbccycling or text 81111.

  42. 1514:  
    Rob Hayles, Former GB cyclist and 5 live sports extra commentator

    On Twitter: 7 x 4.2k finishing loops here in Brescia. 9 x 90 degree turns each lap. Looks like it could rain anytime soon. It better not!

  43. 1513: 
    LIVE NOW

    Simon Brotherton and Rob Hayles are limbering up in the Radio 5 live commentary box and they will be describing the closing stages to the 2013 Giro from 15:15 BST. The commentary is available on the BBC Sport website only this afternoon.

  44. 1510: 

    The Astana squad, which has superbly marshalled Nibali through the race, are setting the pace at the front of the peloton as the race moves into the final 40km. It's been a pan-flat day and the laps of Brescia city centre offer no inclines to trouble the riders. There are a couple of lefts and rights to negotiate in the final kilometre though which could make the sprint interesting.

  45. 1507: 

    Cannondale's big sprinter Elia Viviani is keen to make it third time lucky against Cavendish in today's end-of-stage sprint having been beaten into second twice already by the Manx Missile at this Giro. Cannondale are based near Brescia which is an added incentive for the Italian team.

  46. 1505: 

    Cav might not wait for the finish - there is a second intermediate sprint coming up in about 20km and if he is first over that line, the red jersey is as likely to be his as Nibali is to finish as the overall race winner.

  47. 1503: 

    Race leader Vincenzo Nibali is under no illusions as to how today will pan out. He said: "It is another long and tough stage. We'll try to start it quietly but Cavendish will likely try to make it a sprint finish to take back the red jersey."

  48. 1500: 

    The riders are inside the final 50km of today's stage and are still going along at a fairly sedate pace. Expect that to ramp up shortly - Cav still needs a minimum of four points to take the red jersey remember.

  49. 1458:  
    Pink Jersey, Giro d'Italia leader

    Pictures coming in from the start of today's stage and as is customary, the leaders of the race, points, king of the mountains and young rider classifications are all together. Nibali, decked out in pink from from head-to-foot, rides alongside Cav in the red jersey - he is wearing it because he is second in the standings and Nibali as race leader is in pink - with the white jersey of the best young rider, Carlos Betancur and the blue jersey of mountains champion Stefano Pirazzi alongside.

  50. 1453: 

    The final man is the legend that is Eddy Merckx. His numbers speak for themselves. He won 34 Tour stages, 24 Giro stages and 6 at the Vuelta. He won the Tour points title in 1969, 71 and 72 the Giro in 68 and 73, and the Vuelta in 73. He also won the Tour and Giro overall titles five times each and the Vuelta once.

  51. 1451: 

    Just time to tell you then about the third of the four riders Cav could be joining in a couple of hours. Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi won 48 Grand Tour stages, 22 at the Giro, 6 at the Tour and 20 at the Vuelta. He was the points champion at the Giro in 2004, Vuelta in 2005 and Tour in 2010.

  52. 1447:  
    Simon Brotherton, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentator

    And finally we get TV pictures from Italy. Radio commentary with Simon Brotherton and Rob Hayles coming up from 15:15 BST - it's live on the website only today.

  53. 1443: 

    It's already back to as you were out on the road to Brescia. Katushacycling on Twitter: No chances for the two riders: their attempt was already neutralized.

  54. 1441: 

    I agree Daniel - the four points Cav picked up in the intermediate sprints on stage 20 could prove vital in the final shake-up - and the second of those sprints came with just 22km of the stage remaining and the road had already gone significantly upwards by that point.

  55.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Daniel Capurro on Twitter: Cav always been criticised for not targeting inter sprints, cost him 2 green jerseys. Finally changed that, could get RG double

  56. 1439: 

    Vacansoleil riders Maurits Lammertink and Rob Ruijghright have jumped clear of the peloton - I'm sure Cav is not too concerned at present because if they are still leading at the next intermediate sprint, he can still be first over the line and pick up the four points he needs.

    This is the full breakdown of intermediate and finish line points: Eight points are on offer for the first across the line, going down to 6, 4, 3, 2 and 1 point for the next five. At the stage finish it is 25, 20, 16, 14, 12, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 point.

  57. 1434: 

    BBC Sport commentator Rob Hayles told me on Saturday that he reckons Cav will try to pick up the 12 points he needs to go past Nibali in the two intermediate sprints. And Hayles is bang on the money as right on cue Cav takes the first one of two on today's stage to add eight points to his total. He jumps up to 125, three behind Nibali, who is too busy sheltering in the peloton to care.

  58. 1430: 

    This is how the points standings are at the start of today's race:

    1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Astana) 128 points

    2 Mark Cavendish (GB/Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) 117

    3 Cadel Evans (Aus/BMC) 111

    4 Carlos Betancur (Col/Ag2r-La Mondiale) 108

    5 Rigoberto Uran (Col/Team Sky) 102

  59. 1428: 

    France's Laurent Jalabert joined the elite group of points jersey winners by winning the Giro classification in 1999. He had already won the Tour de France green jersey in 92 and 95 and the Vuelta equivalent in four successive years from 94. Of his 25 Grand Tour stage wins, 18 came in the Spanish race and he also won that overall title 1995.

  60. 1420: 
    GET INVOLVED

    Fear not, you are missing little out on the road at the moment. Lotto Belisol on Twitter: With 79km to go, the peloton is still riding all together to Brescia.

  61. 1415: 

    Abdou's exploits are reason number one why Nibali will stay well clear of any sprints today.

  62. 1414: 

    Abdoujaporov is perhaps best remembered though for a spectacular crash on the Champs Elysees at the end of the 1991 Tour de France. Sprinting for the win, he veered out to the right and was taken out by an inflatable coca-cola bottle. He was in the green points jersey at the time and needed to cross the line to win it. Helped by his team-mates, a bloodied and battered Abdou crawled across the line before being taken away to the hospital in an ambulance. If you've never seen it before, have a little search online for the video.

  63. 1410: 

    While I wait for live TV pictures to filter into BBC towers, let's take a look at one of the riders Cavendish is looking to emulate. And where better to start than with Abdoujaparov - the man known as the Tashkent Terror for his fearsome and often erratic sprinting style. He amassed 16 Grand Tour stage wins and took the Tour points jersey in 1991, 93 and 94, the Giro in 94 and Vuelta in 92.

  64.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Tom Edwards on Twitter: Any cyclist who wins almost a quarter of the stages, should win the points jersey. Cav to further cement his place as a great. #bbccycling

  65. 1402: 
    GET INVOLVED

    So, will Cavendish join that elite bunch and just how good a Giro has he had? Four stage wins is a remarkable achievement in itself. What have been your highlights of the race? Britain's Alex Dowsett winning the stage seven time trial? Nibali's win in the blizzard? Tweet me all things Giro at #bbccycling or text me on 81111 - you know the drill by now, include your name otherwise I can't share your thoughts.

  66. 1357: 

    Today's stage is already under way but the peloton is pootling along at a pedestrian pace as they meander towards Brescia. Nibali will stay away from any sprints and the dangers that go with them today because he has to cross the finish line unaided to be crowned Giro champion - and that is partly why Cav is expected to acquire the points he needs to end the race in red.

  67. 1352: 

    The points jersey rewards consistently high finishes on each stage and is usually won by a sprinter at the Tour de France because points are weighted towards finishes on flatter stages. The Giro is slightly different, with the same points awarded in the mountain and flat stages so it is rarer for a sprinter to win. The quartet Cavendish is aiming to turn into a quintet are Uzbekistan's Djamolidine Abdoujaparov, Italy's Alessandro Petacchi, France's Laurent Jalabert and Belgian legend Eddy Merckx. If you're new to cycling I'll fill you in on each of those rider's achievements a little later.

  68. 1347: 

    Cav has already won four sprint stages at this year's Giro and if he can make it five later today, he will join an elite group of four other riders in becoming the only ones to win the points jersey on each of the three Grand Tours - the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana.

  69. 1343: 

    The red points jersey is very much in the sight of Britain's Mark Cavendish. Nibali's victory on Saturday saw him move 11 points clear of Cav in that category but the Manxman is favourite to wrestle the shirt back today. A sprint finish is on the cards in Brescia and with 25 points on offer for the stage win, while there are also 16 points up for grabs in two intermediate sprints.

  70. 1340:  
    Pink Jersey, Giro d'Italia leader
    Vincenzo Nibali

    Vincenzo Nibal's stunning ride up Tre Cime di Lavaredo to win Saturday's snow-hit stage 20 all-but sealed his first overall victory in his home Grand Tour as he opened up a lead of four minutes, 43 seconds over Team Sky's Rigoberto Uran in second. And with today's stage largely processional, we can focus on the other big prize up for grabs...

  71. 1337: 

    Well, take that rain - the sun graphic is out because, finally, it is a glorious day in Northern Italy as the riders head for the finish line in Brescia after more than 3,000km of racing over the last three weeks.

  72. 1333: 

    Ciao and welcome to live text commentary of the final stage of the 2013 Giro d'Italia. And what a race it has been with torrential rain, crashes, rain, British stage winners galore, rain, the favourite and defending champion abandoning, rain and mountain-top finishes in a snow blizzard. Did I mention the rain?

  73. 1330: 

    Mark Cavendish on Twitter: Final stage of @giroditalia today! Flat stage in Brescia... That means one thing.... SPRINT!!

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