Like last year, the Giro d’Italia ended on Sunday with a time trial in the streets of Milan. While the discipline world champion Filippo Ganna got another win and his teammate Egan Bernal sealed his final victory, Attila Valter managed to gain one place in the general classification. A wearer of the white and the pink jerseys earlier in May, the 22-year-old Hungarian completed the 104th edition of the Giro in fourteenth place and with lasting memories.
“It’s now part of my life”, Attila Valter
Thirty kilometers. That was the distance left to be covered on Sunday to complete the 2021 Giro d’Italia. As in the opening time trial in Turin (8.6 km), Romain Seigle proved to be the fastest Groupama-FDJ rider in this final time trial in Milan. The former mountain biker set the 28th time on the day, a bit more than two minutes behind Filippo Ganna. “Romain was very committed and could deliver a solid performance,” noted Philippe Mauduit. “However, there was not a lot at stake in this time trial, except for Attila who could gain one place in the general classification. The others were free to do this time trial however they wanted, but it was anyway hard for us to actually do something. Today, the riders capable of winning gave it all, the GC contenders wanted to secure their position, but for the others there was not much to go for on this stage. In these cases, every rider does it the way he wants”. Fifteenth overall when he left the launch pad, Attila Valter did his best on Sunday, like he promised. He then took forty-second on the day, but was especially able to gain one place in the general classification. At 22, the young man closed his second Grand Tour in fourteenth place.
However, the Hungarian who joined the Groupama-FDJ last winter especially had the huge opportunity to wear one of the most iconic jerseys in professional cycling. “I keep a lot of memories of my days with the pink and white jerseys”, he said this Sunday evening. “In reality and in my mind, this is something that is now part of my life. I will always be that guy who took the maglia rosa on the Giro. For this reason, I just can’t explain how much this race brought me. I got recognized around my country, which is very nice for me but more importantly for cycling itself. Of course, I enjoyed taking on this leadership role, and having helpers like Rudy Molard, my friend Matteo, Lars … Everyone worked the best they could for me and that really makes me have tears in my eyes. I just came to this team, I don’t speak French properly yet, but they were all ready to fight for me. They were all happy for me at the end of the day, which is important to me. I will come back for sure!”
“The riders and the staff did their part”, Philippe Mauduit
When taking stock of this 2021 Giro, Philippe Mauduit had the following words: “I remember that we wore the white jersey and the pink jersey, and it is far from trivial. It’s actually a great satisfaction. Obviously, I like to win races as well. Therefore, it’s a little disappointing that we could not win a stage, but there are more than ten teams in this case, except that they did not have the opportunity to wear a distinctive jersey. To have been able to wear the pink jersey and have a rider in the top 15 overall, it’s still not so bad. Attila has shown endurance qualities that could enable him, in the future, to fight for a good overall in the Grand Tours, or to be an excellent domestique. There is still a lot of work to do, but when you see what he has done at his age, it’s just promising. Overall, the riders and the staff did their part over these three weeks. It’s quite satisfying and that’s what we’ll remember too”.