Egan Bernal has won the 2021 Giro d'Italia following the final stage time trial in Milan with a winning margin of 1'29".
The Ineos Grenadiers rider navigated the 30.3km race against the clock to maintain his GC lead ahead of Italian Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) in second place. Caruso was able to put about half a minute into Bernal over the course of the stage, but ultimately ran out of road in his attempt to wrest pink from the Colombian's shoulders.
Britain's Simon Yates (BikeExchange) makes up the podium in third.
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Filippo Ganna, also of Ineos, took the stage win despite being forced into a bike change as he approached the finish, while his closest rival for the victory, Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck-QuickStep), also suffered a mishap.
The French national TT champion was looking like coming very close to Ganna's time, until he massively miscalculated a turn in the last kilometre of the course. He said afterwards that he simply "forgot" the corner was there. Ganna's eventual winning time was 33'48", while Cavagna took 34 minutes exactly to complete the course.
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Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) underscored his talents in the discipline, putting in a laudable time of 34'01" and taking third on the stage. He said afterwards that Ganna was simply too strong to beat, even with his bike change in the middle of the stage.
There were minor shufflings in the GC top ten. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) tumbled from fifth to seventh, with Dani Martinez (Ineos Grenadiers) springing up into the spot the Frenchman vacated. Joao Almeida probably had the ride of the day, at least among the GC contenders, managing to bag fifth overall on the stage and rise up from eighth to sixth. Hugh Carthy was another rider who faded slightly, dropping from seventh to eighth.
Highlights: Glory for Ineos as Bernal wins Giro, Ganna takes final stage
Bernal said afterwards:
"I was just, you know, focused on my effort and I was just thinking 'I can't do a mistake'. I was starting to push in the parts when I could, but also in the corners not take any risks, so yeah, finally, I think it's the first time trial I actually enjoyed. I always suffer in the time trial, but today was a special one. It was really nice."
On entering the picturesque finishing straight in central Milan, he added:
"It was special. I was, you know, seeing a lot of Colombian flags everywhere, all people cheering for me. Yeah, when I arrived and realised I won, it was an incredible feeling I cant describe what I am feeling inside."
Eurosport's Bernie Eisel managed to collar Dave Brailsford and asked him if this performance might see Bernal going to the Tour de France.
"I doubt it. We'll look at the situation after the Dauphiné," the team manager said.
Giro d'Italia final general classification top ten
- Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) 86:17:28
- Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) +1'29"
- Simon Yates (BikeExchange) +4'15"
- Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana) +6'40"
- Daniel Martinez (Ineos Grenadiers) +7'24"
- Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep) "
- Romain Bardet (Team DSM) +8'05"
- Hugh Carthy (EF Education Nippo) +8'56"
- Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) +11'44"
- Daniel Martin (Israel StartUp Nation) +18'35"
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