In the first week of the Giro d’Italia, one of the biggest personalities of the race was Esteban Chaves, who had a huge crash during stage 10 and had to abandon the race. In the past, we’ve seen crashes like this crash happen a lot in the Giro d’Italia and, in an interview, Egan Bernal, the 19-year-old Colombian who finished second overall last year, confirmed he can’t wait to do it again.
After a lot of speculation, and many a round-the-clock TV to watch, it’s finally here; the 100th Giro d’Italia will be decided on Saturday, May 27th. So, who will win the final podium? Will we see a surprise winner, or is this a final between two heavy favourites? Either way, it’s sure to be a thrilling finale.
In the third week of the Giro d’Italia, there is now only one major stage to go before the final time trial in Rome. And during this final stage, Bernal became the first Colombian to wear the coveted maglia rosa at this year’s race. The victory is nothing short of incredible, and after the stage the Colombian team went into celebration mode. The team took to the streets of Milan and after the victory, they seemed to have gathered a lot of support as well.
RiderIneos Grenadiers Egan Bernal controlled five stages of the Giro d’Italia.
Has Egan Bernal built an unassailable lead in the Giro d’Italia?
Or will we get a dramatic final week, with the winner of the 2019 Tour de France being challenged by British duo Hugh Carthy and Simon Yates?
In any case, it was fortunate that Bernal was able to defend his lead after photos surfaced on social media showing the Colombian being chased by two fans with chainsaws on the climb of the previous stage.
Race organizers, RCS, said they would investigate the incident.
With Tuesday the final rest day of the race, Sport looks at the status of the last five stages.
Pink Maglia – Bernal lost
I wanted to do something special, I wanted to show that I was back.
After an injury-plagued 2020, Egan Bernal found himself on the gravel roads of 11. The scene showed a glimpse of her resurgence. He backed him up on the famous Monte Zoncolan on the 14th. Scene. And he proved it conclusively when he calmly took off his rain jacket on Monday to show off his maglia rosa – the pink leader’s jersey – as he crossed the finish line for a dominant victory in the Giro’s queen stage.
Bernal is back, and while the race is far from over, it will take something special to deny the Colombian his second Grand Tour victory.
No one could match the lead of the Ineos Grenadiers, who finished in 16th place. In the Cortina d’Ampezzo ski resort, he caught up with all his rivals on stage two and extended his lead over Bahrain-Victorious’s Italian Damiano Caruso to two minutes and 24 seconds, with Briton Hugh Carthy, third, more than a minute behind.
Despite concerns about a back problem that severely affected his form last year, the 24-year-old rider seemed to be gaining momentum in the run-up to the race, taking his second stage and ninth stage victory in Italy.
A special mention for George Bennett of Jumbo-Visma, who came down the mountain after the Zoncolan, which cost him energy, to accompany domestique Edoardo Affini to the finish.
Not to mention Bennett’s finish in Cortina, who inexplicably still had his Musette aid bag with him, which riders usually throw away within minutes of getting it halfway through the stage.
Let the shopping memes begin….
Carthy fights back, but Yates loses time
So who can stop Bernal?
Britain’s Simon Yates, who won the Tour of the Alps in April, retained second place but lost more than two and a half minutes on Monday, dropping to fifth, four minutes and 20 seconds behind the leader.
First challenger Remco Evenepoel crashed out Monday in the second week of his first-ever Grand Tour – the talented 21-year-old is now more than 28 minutes behind, having been just 15 seconds ahead of Bernal before his first rest day.
The Deceuninck-Quick Step rider was involved in a horrific crash during the Il Lombardia 2020 race, and this is his first race back after being out for nine months with an injury.
After finishing third in last year’s Vuelta de España, which included a stunning victory on the famous Angliru circuit, EF Education-Nippo’s Carthy could still cause problems for Ineos. He looks as strong now as he did after that race.
Briton Hugh Carthy (right) thought he had a chance to depose leader Egan Bernal (center) on Monday.
We woke up and saw rain in the morning and Hugh said: We have a chance to win the Giro today, teammate Tejay van Garderen said on Monday.
Although the shortened track thwarted those plans, Carthy’s team pulled away on lap 16. The Lancashire-born rider was unable to follow Bernal at the end.
But the current time gap has already been made up – just ask Yates himself, who in 2018 saw Chris Froome take the overall win after a stunning solo ride in stage 19.
What is next for drivers?
There will be opportunities for Bernal to attack – if his opponents know how to exploit them.
When racing resumes Wednesday, riders will have to be on the 17th circuit. In the first stage to Sega di Ala the riders will have to climb two category 1 climbs of which the last 11 km has an average slope of 9.5%.
After a relatively flat stage 18, Friday’s stage 19 offers again a finish on top of the Alpe di Mera with an average gradient of 9.1%. The penultimate race day on Saturday is also a tough one.
At the age of 20. In the second stage, the riders will climb above 2,000 meters twice: a first climb of 23 kilometers to the San Bernardino Pass with an average gradient of 6.2% and a second climb to the Splugen Pass, followed by a grueling day of climbing the Alpe Motta with a maximum gradient of 13%.
The final individual race of 29,5 kilometers in Milan on Sunday could be decisive, just like last year when Briton Tao Geoghegan Hart won the final stage.
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