Quintana wins Giro d'Italia

Published Monday, 02 June 2014
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Nairo Quintana celebrated an emphatic Giro d'Italia win at the final stage of the competition in Trieste on Sunday.

Quintana wins Giro d'Italia
Quintana said the win was the “happiest day of his life”. (© Getty)

The 24-year-old Colombian was the youngest cyclist to win the pink jersey for a decade in the event which had its Grande Partenza - or big start - in Belfast.

The first three stages of the event took in the city, the Antrim coast, Armagh and finally Dublin before heading to Italy to complete the full 21 stage race.

Thousands lined local streets to cheer on the riders for the first time the Giro was held outside continental Europe.

The First and deputy First Minister hailed the event as a "resounding success" which helped promote Northern Ireland to the many millions around the world who witnessed the spectacular scenery as the cyclists competed for the 'Maglia Rosa'.

Marcel Kittel, who won two of the local stages pulled out of the competition in the early Italian rounds.

While Svein Tuft, who won the first round time trial in Belfast, finished 155th overall in the general classification.

Quintana celebrated the win on Sunday and said he had next year's Tour de France in his sights.

"It's very difficult to explain how much happiness is inside of me," he said.

"This is one of the happiest days of my life. Thank you to my family, thank you to my team and to all the Colombians."

© UTV News
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