ROME (AP) — Tadej Pogacar won the Giro d’Italia on Sunday with the race’s biggest margin of victory in nearly six decades — earning a third Grand Tour trophy to go with his two Tour de France titles.

Pogacar, riding a pink bike to go with his pink jersey, shorts and helmet, crossed safely in the main pack to conclude the mostly ceremonial final stage of the three-week race in Rome, ending with an advantage of nearly 10 minutes over runner-up Daniel Martinez.

Geraint Thomas finished third overall, more than 10 minutes behind.

The last time there was a bigger margin of victory in the Giro came in 1965, when Vittorio Adorni won by more than 11 minutes.

Pogacar, a Slovenian with UAE Team Emirates, also won six stages in the race, the most since Eddy Merckx also won six in 1973.

Now Pogacar will attempt to rest and recover in time to make an attempt at winning his third Tour title, with cycling’s biggest race starting on June 29 with four stages in Italy.

Pogacar will be attempting to become the first rider to win the Giro and the Tour in the same year since Marco Pantani in 1998.

Belgian rider Tim Merlier won the final stage in a sprint ahead of Jonathan Milan by the Colosseum.

Milan, the Italian sprinter who won three stages in the race, had a mechanical issue and needed to change his bike at the start of the last lap. He then managed to catch up with the main pack and almost grabbed another victory.

The 125-kilometer (78-mile) mostly flat final stage finished with a circuit through the center of the capital that was completed eight times, taking riders past the Baths of Caracalla, the Roman Forum, the Tiber River and the Circus Maximus before the finish on cobblestones near the Arch of Constantine.

Pogacar entered the Giro for the first time this year and made an immediate impact. He finished second in the opening stage in Turin and gained time on almost all of his direct rivals. Then he won the second stage, grabbed the leader’s pink jersey and kept on increasing his advantage day after day.

Pogacar won the Tour in 2020 and 2021 and then finished second behind Jonas Vingegaard in 2022 and 2023.

Vingegaard is hoping to defend his Tour title despite a crash in April that left him with several broken ribs and a collapsed lung.

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AP cycling: https://apnews.com/hub/cycling