With an incredibly difficult route and inclement weather throughout the three weeks of the race, the Giro d’Italia 2013 proved to be one of the most gruelling Grand Tours in recent history.
It also produced one of the most impressive Maglia Rosa-winning performances, as Astana’s Vincenzo Nibali thrilled the tifosi with his dominant display.
The 28-year-old from Messina led for all-but the opening week, and added two stage victories to his palmarès en route to his second Grand Tour win.
While Nibali tamed all the challenges thrown at him, pre-race favourite Bradley Wiggins toiled in the wet conditions and eventually abandoned. 2012 champion Ryder Hesjedal hardly fared any better, with his 2013 race the complete opposite to the euphoria he experienced 12 months earlier.
With those two champions out of contention, it was left to Colombian Rigoberto Uran to come of age, as his final-week surge propelled him to second overall, while plucky Australian Cadel Evans bounced back from a disappointing 2012 to prove his critics wrong as he gallantly finished third.
Mark Cavendish lit up the flat stages, winning an impressive five stages and the Maglia Rosa in what was his best Giro to date. Another Briton, Alex Dowsett, made his Grand Tour debut in the race and came out of it a stage winner.
Super-domestique Adam Hansen captured to hearts of cycling fans worldwide with his audacious and gutsy solo triumph into Pescara, while Ramunas Navardauskas followed up becoming the first Lithuanian to wear the pink jersey in 2012 by saving Garmin-Sharp’s Giro with an impressive victory at Erto e Casso.
Relive the fight for pink, the battles for glory, the snow and the talking points in this, the official Giro d’Italia 2013 race review.
Commentary by Daniel Lloyd & Carlton Kirby