Darren Rafferty 2nd on Giro Next Gen GC

ByEmma Porter |

19 year-old Darren Rafferty, riding who rides for Hagens Berman Axeon, has claimed second on General Classification in the Giro Next Gen. The Giro Next Gen is a UCI 2.2 stage race for U23 Men. The race took place across eight stages, from the 11th to the 18th of June, covering 1,055.4km from Agliè to Trieste, Italy.

Rafferty became the first Irish man to finish on the GC podium since the race started in 1970, just 47 seconds behind the overall winner Johannes Staune-Mittet of the Jumbo-Visma development team.

Finishing 12th overall on the opening stage, Rafferty pulled himself into 2nd overall by finishing 3rd on stage 4. Stage 4 took riders up the Passo dello Stelvio to 2757m above sea level, where a number of riders were eventually disqualified from the race due to requiring excess help from the cavalcade to conquer the steep slopes.

In 2022, Rafferty won the U23 Strade Bianche de Romagna before going on to claim the Irish U23 Time Trial Title and finish 6th in the European U23 Time Trial. The results put him in the line of interest of some World Tour Teams, however, Rafferty opted to remain at U23 level for another season.

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