general classification – Michmutters

Jai Hindley — named to start in Vuelta a España — aims to add to his Giro d’Italia triumph

Australian cyclist Jai Hindley will have a shot at creating history when he lines up in the final Grand Tour of the year, the Vuelta a España.

Only 10 riders have ever won two Grand Tours in a single season, with the Giro-Vuelta double the equal-most elusive feat.

Just three riders have ever claimed the Giro-Vuelta double in a single season: Eddie Merckx (1973), Giovanni Battaglin (1981) and Alberto Contador (2008).

But that’s what 26-year-old Hindley will be aiming for after he was named as part of a strong Bora-Hansgrohe team that will line up for the race-opening team time trial in the Dutch city of Utrecht.

Hindley became the first Australian to win the Giro last May in what was just his fifth Grand Tour start.

He was just the second Australian to ever win a Grand Tour after Cadel Evans’s 2011 Tour de France win — and will be aiming to become the first Australian to ever win the Vuelta.

The West Australian’s only previous appearance in the Vuelta was in 2018, when he finished in 32nd place overall behind overall winner Simon Yates, who will this year lead Australian team Team BikeExchange-Jayco.

Hindley had two months off after his Giro victory but recently finished seventh overall at the recent five-stage Vuelta Ciclista a Burgos.

Jai Hindley leans over his handlebars with his mouth open and is held up by a man who holds onto him
Jai Hindley will be hoping to use his ability in the mountains to challenge the other contenders for the red jersey. (Getty Images: Marco Alpozzi)

“The main goal is to be good for La Vuelta, and we still have a bit of time before that, so it’s all good,” Hindley told the Bora-Hansgrohe team after the race.

“After such a long time off from racing and then coming off the back of a hard altitude camp, it’s nice to be back at the pointy end of a race.

“I think Wilco [Kelderman] and Emu [Emanuel Buchmann] are similar and, hopefully, we will hit peak form at the right time.”