Bernal battles to preserve GC advantage

26 May 2021

Bernal battles to preserve GC advantage

Giro d'Italia stage 17: Canazei › Sega di Ala, 193km

Egan Bernal fought to maintain his overall lead at the Giro d’Italia following a gruelling finale on an eventful stage 17. 

Bernal finished seventh on the summit finish, with Simon Yates moving back into contention with a well-timed attack that saw him gain ground on the maglia rosa.   
The Colombian was in a small group with Yates and Joao Almeida, with the other GC contenders already dropped, when the duo accelerated away on the steepest gradient of the Sega di Ala. 

Dani Martinez worked tirelessly to keep the gap to the pair controlled and the Colombian duo managed to battle their way back to within 53 seconds of Yates, the Grenadiers arriving at the line with Damiano Caruso to ensure the gap to the Italian on GC was only cut by a few seconds.  

Dan Martin won the stage from the breakaway to deny Yates and Almeida maximum bonus points, with the gaps in the general classification increasing on a dramatic summit finish.

Earlier Gianni Moscon had been part of an early breakaway that formed after a high-speed start to the first stage after the rest day. Moscon maintained the gap to the peloton to allow the Grenadiers some relief from chasing, with Bike Exchange picking up the responsibility. 

The advantage remained until the final climb, when the Grenadiers finally came to the fore and Jonathan Castroviejo dented the GC hopes of many with an unrivalled pace on the lower sections of the climb before the final attacks came from Yates and Almeida, splitting the contenders into small groups, allowing Martin to say away and take victory.  

Egan Bernal

“Today was a tough day for me, the last kilometres were really steep and I tried to follow Yates, but today he was stronger than me and I just tried to arrive at the finish with Caruso who is the closest in the GC, I didn’t want to take any risks. Yates was impressive and I just did my best. 

"I am happy because I didn’t lose too much time to Yates in today’s stage, today’s stage was perfect for him and then with Caruso who is second in GC I lost just a few metres. 

"A bad day today but I lost nearly no time to second on GC, I have some advantage over Yates so I just need to arrive with some time in Milan and if I win the Giro by one second or two minutes it will be the same."

Stage result 

Overall standings