Giro d'Italia: Brilliant Bernal attack boosts GC bid with second stage win

By Sports Desk May 24, 2021

Egan Bernal earned a second stage win at the Giro d'Italia on Monday to strengthen his grip on the maglia rosa.

INEOS Grenadiers rider Bernal has led the general classification since his stage nine triumph and moved two minutes and 24 seconds clear with another victory on stage 16.

Miserable weather conditions reduced the route down to a 153-kilometre ride and the Colombian profited with an outstanding attack on the Passo Giau.

A six-man attack ahead of the GC group was reduced to five when Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier was dropped having put Trek-Segafredo team-mate Vincenzo Nibali in position to challenge.

Their advantage was just a minute and 40 seconds at the bottom of the Giau, though, and Bernal beat the remaining quintet on the climb to emerge out front alone.

There was never a realistic proposition of Bernal being reeled in on the descent to Cortina d'Ampezzo, with his final margin of 27 seconds trimmed slightly as he removed his cape to show off the maglia rosa.

"I wanted to put on a show," said Bernal, the 2019 Tour de France winner. "This is the kind of cycling I like, when it's wet and cold and you need 'grinta' (grit).

"I wanted to do something special. It's risky but I thought I could do it and the team believed in me."

It was a risk that certainly paid off as Bernal can now head into a rest day with a healthy lead and just five stages remaining.

Damiano Caruso, previously third, is now Bernal's nearest challenger after matching Romain Bardet behind the stage winner, while Simon Yates endured a punishing day as he struggled to keep pace with the GC group, finishing 11th – two minutes and 36 seconds back – to tumble to fifth in the standings.

STAGE RESULT

1. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 4:22:41
2. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) +00:27
3. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious)
4. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) +01:18
5. Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Nippo)

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 66:36:04
2. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) +02:24
3. Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Nippo) +03:40

Points Classification

1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 135
2. Davide Cimolai (Israel Start-Up Nation) 113
3. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Emirates) 110

King of the Mountains

1. Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroen Team) 136
2. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 107
3. Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) 53

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