The two finalists in this category were Daniel Martin and Alberto Bettiol, who had defeated Taco van der Hoorn and Gino Mäder in the semi‑finals.
So, the final shoot-out was between Martin and Bettiol.
One would think that the 2019 Tour of Flanders winner would be the favourite, partly because he’s an Italian rider, and partly because he won stage 18 in Stradella, after spending the entire day on the offensive. And yet, Daniel Martin won, although by a slender 1%. Israel Start-Up Nation’s captain entered the 2021 Giro aiming for a shot at the general classification. After a complicated start, however, he settled down, trying to nail a partial victory.
He tried to, lots of times, and eventually succeeded. In stage 17, he soloed over the finish line in Sega di Ala after dropping his fellow breakaway partners during the final ascent, and holding out against all the other GC contenders who had been fighting behind him. Perhaps this the reason why he has earned this award. Having fought twice as hard, and having resisted twice as much, his grit has sort of squared.
While Yates was attacking, followed by Bernal, Martin held firm at the front. While the Maglia Rosa was struggling, he still endured. The moment Almeida dropped Yates and clipped away in the stage finale, Martin gripped his handlebar harder, clinging on to his 13’’ margin.
His determination earned him a double victory. On May 26, he took a stunning stage win, and today he received the award for the Best Break at the 2021 Giro d’Italia.