Perthite Jai Hindley has launched into the history books, becoming the first Australian to win the Giro d’Italia cycling race in Verona.
The 26-year-old won on May 30 after three weeks of racing, by one-minute and 18 seconds as a part of the German owned team Bora-Hansgrohe. This historic win makes him only the second Australian to claim a Grand Tour Championship, behind Cadell Evans, who won the Tour de France in 2011.
Following the race, he commented on how “incredible” it felt to finish first and don the winners “maglia rosa”.
“It’s a beautiful feeling,” he said.
“There were a lot of emotions out there today [and] to take this win is really incredible”.
He was asked how it felt to be the first Australian to win the G d’Italia to which he emotionally replied, “I’m really proud to be Australian and happy to take this home”. The Mediterranean-based cyclist hadn’t seen his parents in over two years due to the pandemic, however they were there on the day he received his trophy in the Arena di Verona.
According to Cycling News, there is a total prize fund of 2.2 million with Hindley expected to take home a cool A$172,000.
💗 Giro d'Italia 2022 💗
🇬🇧 The last of the 3,445 km of the Giro d'Italia 2022.
The sweetest one of all. Bravo Jai!
— Giro d'Italia (@giroditalia) May 29, 2022
Even though he placed second in the 2020 Giro d’Italia, this years win comes as a surprise after troubles in the 2021 race. He had to withdraw from the race due to saddle sore, painful skin lesions that come from extended contact with the bike seat.
“I had a lot of things going [on] which made it a super hard year and a difficult period,” he said during this year’s race.
“It was really frustrating because I finished 2020 with second place at the Giro and then I had really high expectation coming into 2021.
“I wanted to prove to people, and more so myself, that I was capable of riding at that level and that 2020 wasn’t just a fluke.”
The Giro d’Italia is a 21-stage cycling race that takes place over three weeks. This years route covered over 3,400 km of Italy and Hungary with participants climbing over 51,000 metres on their bike.