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Meet the quiet Aussie who is poised to win one of the world’s biggest bike races

Meet the laid-back Aussie who is poised to win one of the world’s biggest cycle races to become only the second Aussie to claim a grand tour victory.

  • Perth-based cyclist Jai Hindley looms large to win coveted Giro d’Italia
  • The 26-year-old cyclist takes second place before the bike race concludes this Sunday.
  • A specialist climber, he is confident he can topple leader Richard Carapaz

He’s about to win one of the world’s most prestigious cycling races, but Jai Hindley is virtually unknown in Australia.

The Perth-born cyclist is ready to lift the Giro d’Italia Trophy, provided the 26-year-old can navigate the final grueling week of racing, which will present plenty of tough challenges for the field of weary competitors.

After stage 16 on Wednesday, Hindley is just three seconds behind the race leader, Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz.

With five stages to go, Hindley, who also finished second in the 2020 Giro d’Italia, dares to dream, with the three-week race that concludes in Verona on Sunday.

He's poised to win one of the world's most prestigious cycle races this weekend in Italy, but Jai Hindley is virtually unknown in Australia.

He’s poised to win one of the world’s most prestigious cycle races this weekend in Italy, but Jai Hindley is virtually unknown in Australia.

The Perth athlete also has his sights set on a piece of sporting history: should he win his title race at the Giro d'Italia, Hindley will join 2011 Tour de France champion Cadel Evans as the only Australian to having won one of the three grand tours of cycling.

The Perth athlete also has his sights set on a piece of sporting history: should he win his title race at the Giro d’Italia, Hindley will join 2011 Tour de France champion Cadel Evans as the only Australian to having won one of the three grand tours of cycling.

“Sure, 100 per cent,” Hindley told reporters when asked if he thinks it can go better than the 2020 race.

‘[I’m] I’m not here to put socks on centipedes, you know what I mean?

I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe the team could win. We are all inside.

Hindley did not compete in Italy last year due to illness, and there were some rumors that he would struggle to return to his 2020 form.

He silenced his critics after winning stage nine, then backed it up with a second-place finish on stage 14.

Jai Hindley's main rivals in the Giro d'Italia are the Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz (in the middle) and the Portuguese Joao Almeida.

Jai Hindley’s main rivals in the Giro d’Italia are the Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz (in the middle) and the Portuguese Joao Almeida.

The road climbing specialist also has his sights set on a piece of sporting history: if he wins his title race, Hindley will join 2011 Tour de France champion Cadel Evans as the only Australian to have won a of the three great tours of cycling (the Giro, the Tour and Vuelta a España).

‘If I could take a force from Cadel, it would probably be his engine. The guy was a beast on the bike,” Hindley told The Age.

“If I could also win a grand tour and put my name in the history books, that would be something else.”

Hindley comes from an elite athletic group.

His father, Gordon, was also a cyclist and encouraged his son to develop his potential on two wheels at a young age.

Hindley snr coached Jai in his formative cycling years and when the youth sports star opted for a spell playing rugby with his teammates, his father was heartbroken.

I’m glad he stopped playing rugby. It would probably be broken and finished by now. Gordon Hindley told ridemedia.com.au.

“Fortunately, he was back on the bike as soon as possible.”

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