Giro d’Italia: Egan Bernal blitzes field on shortened stage

Dan Martin finished 16th in tough conditions leaving him 12th in the overall standings

Overall leader Team Ineos rider Colombia’s Egan Bernal rides in the final ascent on his way to win the 16th stage of the Giro d’Italia between Sacile and Cortina d’Ampezzo. Photo: Luca Bettini/AFP via Getty Images

Overall leader Team Ineos rider Colombia’s Egan Bernal rides in the final ascent on his way to win the 16th stage of the Giro d’Italia between Sacile and Cortina d’Ampezzo. Photo: Luca Bettini/AFP via Getty Images

 

Race leader Egan Bernal fortified his overall lead at the Giro d’Italia on Monday, dropping the other contenders and soloing in to his second stage win of the event. The 2019 Tour de France winner shrugged off cold, wet conditions to reach the line 27 seconds ahead of Romain Bardet (Team DSM) and Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Victorious), with Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) leading in Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Nippo) and João Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep) a further 51 seconds later.

Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) was involved in an early break but was reeled in. He finished 16th, seven minutes 10 seconds back.

The stage was hit by adverse weather restrictions which cut the distance from 212 kilometres to 153 and dropped the number of climbs from four to two. This safety measure removed the highest ascent of this year’s race, the 2239-metre Passo Pordoi, but the stage’s final climb was retained, namely the 2233-metre Passo Giau, which was followed by a 17.5 kilometre descent to the finish line in Cortina d’Ampezzo.

A big breakaway went clear shortly after the start and built a decent lead on the early La Crosetta climb. Martin and his cousin Nicolas Roche (Team DSM) were part of the 21-man group, although neither Irishman was present in a smaller splinter-move which subsequently pushed ahead on the descent. Former Giro champion Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) was one of those but they were unable to open a stage-winning lead.

The EF Education-Nippo team of Hugh Carthy set a difficult pace on the Passo Giau and dropped a number of important competitors, including the rider in second overall, Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) and Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana), fourth overall. Carthy was hoping to put race leader Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) under pressure but the Colombian instead attacked, dropping all of his rivals and passing the remnants of the break.

He crested the climb alone and stayed upright on the slippery descent to reach the finish first. Despite the push to gain time, he removed his rain jacket close to the line so that he could fully display the leader’s pink jersey. Bernal had previously won the ninth stage, but wasn’t wearing the jersey then.

“It is a great victory if you win with the Maglia Rosa,” he explained. “It is special. It’s not every day you win a stage in the Giro with the Maglia Rosa. I wanted to show it. I also [removed the jacket] for respect for the Maglia.

“I wanted to do something special. I wanted to show I am back in the game,” he said, referring to the back injury which hampered him for more than a year. “The team believed in me during this stage and I just tried to go and do something special.

“It was hard, of course, but when the race is hard because of the weather, you need to be hard also with your mentality. I had that mentality at the beginning of the race and then I kept it. It was a day to suffer and we did it.”

He is now two minutes 24 seconds ahead of Caruso and three minutes 40 up on Carthy.

Martin 16th place sees him stay 12th overall, but he is now 15 minutes 10 seconds off Bernal’s lead.

The Giro’s second rest day takes place on Tuesday. The racing restarts on Wednesday with a summit finish to Sega di Ala.

Giro d’Italia, Italy (WorldTour) Stage 16, Sacile to Cortina d’Ampezzo

1, Egan Bernal Gomez (Ineos Grenadiers) 153 kilometres in 4 hours 22 mins 41 secs, 2 R Bardet (Team DSM) at 27, 3 D Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) same, 4 G Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) at 1.18, 5 H Carthy (EF Education-Nippo) at 1.19, 6 J Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep) at 1.21

Irish: 16 D Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) at 7.10, 103 N Roche (Team DSM) at 35.25

General classification after stage 16

1, Egan Bernal Gomez (Ineos Grenadiers) 66 hours 36 mins 4 secs, 2 D Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) at 2.24, 3 H Carthy (EF Education-Nippo) at 3.40, 4 A Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) at 4.18, 5 S Yates (Team BikeExchange) at 4.20, 6 G Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) at 4.31

Irish: 12 D Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) at 15.10, 62 N Roche (Team DSM) at 1 hour 52.32

Points classification: 1 Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 135, 2 D Cimolai (Israel Start-up Nation) 113, 3 F Gaviria Rendon (UAE Team Emirates) 110

Mountains classification: 1 Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën Team) 136, 2 E Bernal Gomez (Ineos Grenadiers) 107, 3 B Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) 53

Young riders classification: 1 Egan Bernal Gomez (Ineos Grenadiers) 66 hours 36 mins 4 secs, 2 A Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) at 4 mins 18 secs, 3 D Martinez Poveda (Ineos Grenadiers) at 7 mins 17 secs

Combativity classification: Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix)

Sprints classification: Umberto Marengo (Bardiani CSF Faizanè)

Breakaway classification: Simon Pellaud (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec)

Fair Play classification: 1 Bahrain Victorious, 2 Team DSM, 3 Jumbo-Visma

Other: 4 Israel Start-up Nation

Teams classification: 1 Trek-Segafredo 200 hours 8 mins 30 secs, 2 Ineos Grenadiers at 6.46, 3 Team BikeExchange at 26.12

Other: 7 Team DSM at 52.08, 17 Israel Start-up Nation at 3 hours 7.53

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