Nicholas Dlamini climbed to new heights in his fledgling career when he won the King of the Mountains title at the Giro Ciclistico d’Italia, also referred to as the Baby Giro, which finished at Campo Imperatore in the central Abruzzo region of Italy on Thursday.
Dlamini, who rides for Dimension Data’s continental team, scored 67 points over the course of the seven-day tour to take the green climbers’ jersey ahead of Russia’s Pavel Sivakov (33) and Australia’s Jai Hindley (28).
The South African said in a statement on his Facebook page that his achievement in the Giro d’Italia for U23 riders was “a good feeling”.
“This one is for all the developmental riders back home,” it read. “I fought really hard for this jersey, knowing how far I’ve come.
“I really hope the development riders will now believe in themselves, knowing that anything is possible.”
In addition to the green jersey, Dlamini also finished fourth on the penultimate stage.
He said a highlight of the tour had been the historic stage win of his Rwandan teammate, Joseph Areruya. The latter won stage five to become the first from his country to win on the European circuit.
This achievement also marked the first win for Dimension Data’s feeder team outside of Africa.
Sivakov, who races for BMC’s development team, was the overall winner in 23:30:09.