29-05-2017, CANYON RORY SUTHERLAND'S GIRO JOURNAL
Along the azure shores of Sardinia, over the towering peaks of the Dolomites and rolling to a halt outside Milan's striking Duomo, the 100th Giro d'Italia promised spectacle, and it didn't disappoint.
While the ultimate goal of Nairo Quintana standing on the final podium in the Maglia Rosa remained just out of reach, the fact that the end result was only confirmed as the final pedal revolutions of a 3615 kilometre journey were being spun showed just how close the race was run. Sometimes it goes your way, other times it doesn't; take a step back, learn, and go again, stronger than ever.
If ever there was proof needed that cycling is a team sport, this was it. Movistar Team were ever-present in formation at the head of the peloton for three whole weeks. Whether on the flats or taking on high mountain passes, Quintana could always rely on a numerical advantage when it came to the key crunch points, contributing to a memorable stage win on the climb to Blockhaus.
Elsewhere, strong rides from the rest of the squad, including Gorka Izagirre's own triumph on the road to Peschici saw Movistar Team deservedly top out the final team classification.
For Quintana, it's now all eyes on the Tour de France. With a solid record for riding even stronger in his second Grand Tour of the season compared to the first, July is set to bring more fireworks than ever...