The door has closed on the memorable 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia. Here's a collection of reactions from some of the riders and their teams. 

Monday 29 May 2017

After the final stage, the 100th Giro d'Italia champion really couldn't believe what was going on.  

Then he figured it out:

Check out the post-stage interview where that infamous nature break was a topic of conversation. The exchange: 

Reporter: You made history and not because you s*it in the woods.

Dumoulin: I still made history with s*itting in the woods. But now in a positive way. I will go down in history books winning the Giro with, uh, pooping in the woods. 

But seriously:

“You’re never sure of winning, you always doubt," the Dutchman said. "I think everybody does."

"I’m not the first TT rider who can do well in the mountains. Miguel Indurain is five steps ahead of me. There are guys like Bradley Wiggins, but I don’t want to compare myself to anyone. It’s just an amazing day.

“The hardest stage of the Giro was three days ago when they attacked me in downhill. After the intestinal troubles I had, I knew I would have some food problems. The good thing is that on a bad day like that I lost only one minute.

"I had the experience of losing much more at the Vuelta. I stayed calm and I limited the losses this time.

"Everything was very quick after the finish so I can’t realize what’s happening in the Netherlands now, but I will always stay the same person. Maybe people will approach me differently, but I really hope I can walk around in Maastricht without being treated like a superhero. 

"The Giro victory is not going to change my whole life. I hope to stay the same person with the same character. I won a very special race.

"It’s amazing when you see all the names on the trophy. It’s an honour to be part of this long list of champions. I don’t feel myself like a champion, but I almost feel like it when I see my name on the trophy. It’s very special."  

Almost a year and a half ago, six of their Sunweb team mates were felled in a serious training accident. Chad Haga, the only rider involved in the accident riding at this year's Giro, was the worst affected with multiple lacerations, a fractured cheekbone and bleeding profusely on the side of the road.

96 stitches and 16 months later, Haga's celebrations were probably more emotional than most. A valued helper, the American also spent a lot of time over the past few months training with Dumoulin. 

The team lost Wilco Kelderman along the way, a victim of the crash involving a police moto on stage 9; and also Phil Bauhaus after stage 17.  But they were still a part of the team that got their leader to the top step of the podium in Milan. 

And have a look who's in the car here driving at the end of this video:

It's Luke Roberts, former Aussie pro cyclist and Olympian. He joined the team as a DS in 2016, and now he's got a Giro win under his belt. Congrats Luke!   

With his plans for a Giro-Tour double now lying in tatters, Quintana admitted he and Movistar underestimated Dumoulin going into the race. Somewhat folly considering the parcours included 70 time trial kilometres and the Dutchman has performed strongly in grand tours before. 

"Dumoulin didn't look like the main rival for us before the race," the Movistar leader said. "Yet he bested everyone with excellent TT and mountain performances. He really deserves this victory."

Quintana himself visibly looked uncomfortable and awkward on his TT rig, as if he hadn't actually spent much time in the cockpit. 

"Today's TT is a big experience really," the Colombian said in a total understatement. "We knew we needed a bigger advantage heading into the final TT. 

"70km of time trials are too many when you've got to defend yourself against riders like Tom."

"There were also mountain stages where I could have done better but the legs just felt like they did. I went through some illness at a few stages into the final week, days where I could just manage to stay with the GC group.

"A podium finish is not something to be disappointed about. Sometimes, you don't get the prize you want, even when you work hard to accomplish your goals.

"I have no words to describe how grateful I am towards the whole Movistar Team. We left everything on the road, and I hope we made our fans proud about our efforts."

It remains to be seen what affect the Giro will have on his Tour de France chances, an edition with several hard mountain stages more suited to his style of riding and only a total of 36.5kms of time trialling.

Quintana remains hopeful. 

"We're willing to continue working hard after this, and several things are looking good before the Tour - my legs seem to be doing well. 

"Also, there will be many details to correct, things to polish. The Giro has been a huge test."

"I'm the happiest man on earth," Jos van Emden said. "I am so happy that I can finally win after all my second places. I have been sitting on the hot seat for a long time and most times, someone else was faster. Finally, I’m the one who can shout how happy I am."

How happy?

You don't need to speak Dutch to understand just how happy Van Emden is here about his Giro d'Italia stage win:

Van Emden said he knew his biggest rival for the stage victory was Dumoulin, who finished second behind his compatriot. 

"I saw at the first intermediate point that I was two seconds faster and at the second intermediate point, I was six seconds faster. I won by four seconds in the second part, while that was my strongest part."

And for those playing at home:

"I rode a 58-tooth outer ring today and in the back, I had an 11. It even occurred a few times that I wanted to switch even lower but I was already on the 11. Then you know the speed is good. "

In the white jersey overnight, Adam Yates lost the youth classification to Bob Jungels (QuickStep Floors), a strong time trialler who came home one minute and 34 seconds faster than Yates.

Leading the classification for much of the race, the Luxembourger handed the jersey over to Yates after stage 18 when the Brit finished 12th on the stage to St Urlich and over two minutes ahead of Jungels.

Despite swapping the jersey with Jungels, Yates' race against the clock was enough to retain his ninth place overall. 

“We came out with a top ten in the general classification, which was one of two objectives for me, so I’m not completely disappointed about losing white," he said. 

“It was the first time we have started a Grand Tour with the aim of riding for the general classification, we really only switched to that half way through the Tour de France last year.

“Having guys work day-in and day-out for me is not something I am used to, I haven’t had it all my career, but they have done a great job these few weeks and I am sure as a team we will continue to do a good job in the future.”

And Yates can't help thinking what might have been if not for the crash with the police moto on stage 9. 

White slams Movistar after Giro crash
Orica-Scott's sporting director Matt White has slammed Nairo Quintana's Movistar team for not waiting after several key general classification riders were caught up in a crash with a stationary police motorcycle.

“We had a bit of bad luck in the beginning and if it wasn’t for that maybe things would have been different but we gave 100% every day and that’s all you can do.”

Yates finished the race with seven top-ten results, and the team took home a stage win via Caleb Ewan's sprint win on stage 7.

Orica-Scott sport director Matt White said he was more than happy with the team's Giro. 

"We have finished with a top-ten overall, a stage win and a hell of a lot of experience,” he said. 

“Firstly with Caleb, who won his first stage at the Giro d’Italia and came close another couple of times and also with Adam.

“From a team that only a couple of years ago was a bunch of opportunists looking for wins whenever we could get them, we come here as one of the big teams now.

“Not many teams can target a serious general classification and have one of the world’s best sprinters so I think we can be proud of that.”

 

Vincenzo Nibali may have finished on the third step of the podium, but he didn't go away with just a bottle of empty prosecco.

No, it's not some made-up award so an Italian rider wins a prize, it's actually been a thing since 1989 and in some translations it's awarded for 'beauty'.

Esteban Chaves won it last year, and past winners have also included riders you could say have some panache about them, like Philippe Gilbert (2015), Fabio Aru (2014), Mark Cavendish (2012), Cadel Evans (2010) and of course, Mario Cipollini (2000,2001)

But on a more serious note, the Trek-Leopard team was awarded the 2011 Trofeo Bonacossa after Wouter Weylandt was killed in a crash during that edition of the race, and despite the team being emotionally unable to complete the race. 

Beautiful indeed. 

 

"I can't tell you what it means for me to enjoy such success in my first Grand Tour," points jersey winner Fernando Gaviria said. 

"Before the start, I was thinking of winning a stage, but to conclude the race with four victories, a stint in the pink jersey and the maglia ciclamino, it's beyond my imagination."

After pulling on the white jersey for the final time as the overall winner, Bob Jungels was already looking to the future. 

"It was a very tough Giro and to take the maglia bianca and eighth overall gives me something on which I can build in the future.

"The battle for the white jersey was a really nice one. We both had good stages and bad stages, and at the end of the day I am happy for prevailing and winning this classification again."