Arnaud Demare clinched victory in a sprint finish to stage five of the Giro d'Italia as Vincenzo Nibali confirmed 2022 will be his final year as a professional rider.
In his hometown of Messina, following a 174-kilometre route from Catania, Nibali, who has won the Giro twice, felt it was fitting to announce the news.
Out of general classification contention after losing over two minutes on the leading pack in stage four, Nibali is now focused on enjoying what will be his final Giro, and possibly his last appearance at a Grand Tour.
"I was waiting for this stage for a while, for years, it's where I started to ride and train, so I wanted to confirm that this is my last Giro and my last season," the 37-year-old told RAI Sport's Processo all Tappa.
Tearfully, he added: "It's time to call it a day. I've done so much for so long, but it's the right time. I can't forget that I left home when I was 15 years old. I think I gave a lot to cycling and now it's time to give time back to all the people who sacrificed things for me."
At the front of the race, Groupama-FDJ's Demare recovered from being dropped on the day's main climb to claim his first stage win of the season, and his sixth at a Giro.
There was no challenge from Mark Cavendish, who could not bounce back after losing time on the climb.
GC leader Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo), meanwhile, ensured he kept hold of the maglia rossa by crossing in the peloton. The Spaniard maintained his 39-second lead over second-placed Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe).
NIBALI HEADS OUT IN HISTORIC CLUB
As well as winning in his homeland in 2013 and 2016, Nibali triumphed in the Tour de France in 2014 and the Vuelta a Espana in 2010, and is one of only seven riders to have won all three Grand Tours.
Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Jacques Anquetil, Felice Gimondi Alberto Contador and Chris Froome are the other riders in that exclusive club.
1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 4:03:56
2. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) same time
3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Israel-Premier Tech) same time
4. Davide Ballerini (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) same time
5. Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) same time
1. Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) 18:21:03
2. Lennard Kaemna (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:39
3. Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) +0:58
1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 94
2. Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 72
3. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 67
King of the Mountains
1. Lennard Kaemna (Bora-Hansgrohe) 41
2. Mirco Maestri (EOLO-Kometa Cycling Team) 18
3. Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) 18