Tom Dumoulin raced to a thrilling overall victory at the 100th Giro d’Italia with an accomplished individual time trial performance in Milan.
The Team Sunweb rider claimed his debut Grand Tour win by 31" from Colombian Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) in one of the most exciting finishes to a three-week stage race in the history of the sport. The top four were within 53" of each other before the final stage.
Dumoulin was second on the day, 15” behind winner Jos van Emden (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) - who claimed his first win at a Grand Tour on a day of double Dutch success.
The 2014 champion Quintana led overall into the final stage but finished it in 27th, 1’39” down on the winner, dropping to second on the final podium. Home favourite Vincenzo Nibali (Team Bahrain-Merida) was third overall, 40" behind Dumoulin.
After three weeks of captivating racing it all came down to the final 29.3km time trial, starting on the F1 circuit in Monza and finishing in shadow of the Duomo in central Milan.
Dumoulin began Sunday’s stage 53” behind the leader Quintana. He was widely expected to dominate his GC rivals in a short, flat “Race of Truth” and so it proved. He made history by becoming the first Dutchman to win the Giro d’Italia in the 100th edition of the race.
The 26-year-old won two stages - the first individual time trial on Stage 10, and a summit finish to Oropa on Stage 14 - in a three-week race that always entertained but truly came to life in a gruelling, mountainous final week.
BMC Racing Team's Manuel Quinziato had set the early pace on Sunday - the Italian national time trial champion said it was a big goal of his to wear that champion's jersey while contesting this final stage in Milan.
But Quinziato was soon outstripped by Van Emden, whose mark of 33'08 on a fast, straight course packed with cheering fans would not be surpassed.
Quinziato finished third on the stage, 27" back, with Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky) fourth and Joey Rosskopf (BMC Racing Team) rounding out the top five.
Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors Pro Cycling) sealed the white jersey for best young rider by finishing eighth on Sunday, 54" behind the winner, as he overtook Adam Yates (ORICA-SCOTT).
Having looked capable of forcing his way on to the final podium after winning Stage 20, Thibaut Pinot of FDJ turned in a relatively disappointing ride and finished fourth overall, 1'17" back.
Fernando Gaviria of Quick-Step Floors Pro Cycling wrapped up the Maglia Ciclamino while Mikel Landa (Team Sky) sealed the Maglia Azzurra (King of the Mountains) prize.
Dumoulin said: "It's really crazy, I cannot describe it with words. It was such a nerve-racking day but I did it, I had good legs.
"I spoke to my sports director, and he said only if we’re sure I’ll tell you not to take risks in the corners. He said it at halfway already. I was like, this is early to say something like that.
"Then I crossed the line and they were saying you’ve won it - but then I sat here in front of the TV and it was only like three seconds. I was really angry but I eventually pulled it off. It’s incredible."
"I’m so happy, so emotional," said Van Emden. "I was too many times second and this is a great day for Dutch cycling. Tom wins, I win, finally. There are two really happy people inside this tent."
Lotto Soudal's Adam Hansen had earlier crossed the finish line to complete a world-record 17th Grand Tour in a row, revealing he has suspected hairline fracture in his hand.
Top 10 - Stage 21
1 Jos Van Emden (Team LottoNl-Jumbo) 33'08"
2 Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) +15"
3 Manuel Quinziato (BMC Racing Team) +27"
4 Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky) +31"
5 Joey Rosskopf (BMC Racing Team) +35"
6 Jan Barta (Bora-hansgrohe) +39"
7 Georg Preidler (Team Sunweb) +51"
8 Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) +54"
9 Jan Tratnik (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) +57"
10 Andrey Amador (Movistar Team) +1:02"
Top 10 GC
1 Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) 90:34:54
2 Nairo Quintana (Movista Team) +31"
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) +40"
4 Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) +1'17"
5 Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) +1'56"
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R) +3'11"
7 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) +3'41"
8 Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors 00:07:04
9 Adam Yates (ORICA-SCOTT) +8'10"
10 Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Drapac) +15'17"