Bernal second in Giro thriller

13 May 2021

Bernal second in Giro thriller

Giro d'Italia stage six: Grotte di Frasassi › Ascoli Piceno (San Giacomo), 160km.

Egan Bernal sprinted to second place to round off a superb INEOS Grenadiers performance in difficult conditions on stage six to move up to third overall at the Giro d’Italia.  

Bernal attacked twice on the final climb to distance a number of his general classification rivals, the second time distancing all but three riders before putting in a late burst to the line to finish second and take key bonus seconds.

Teammate Dani Martinez had attacked earlier on the uphill finish in driving rain, finishing the stage seventh to move up to 12th overall
Earlier, the Grenadiers had exploded the race with a well-timed acceleration on the Forca di Gualdo climb, which notably saw the maglia rosa, Alessandro De Marchi distanced. 

With over 60 kilometres to go Salvatore Puccio, Jonathan Castroviejo, Gianni Moscon and Filippo Ganna took it in turns to push the pace as the peloton split, struggling to handle the pace combined with the blustery and wet conditions.

The Grenadiers then kept the pressure on, navigating treacherous conditions, with Ganna pulling on the front of a reduced peloton to the final climb, the Ascoli Piceno. 

From there, his teammates took it in turns to set the tempo, with the gap to Gino Mäder, the remaining rider from the break ever-decreasing.

Mäder held on for the stage win, but came close to being caught as Bernal attacked behind and pipped a select group of GC riders to the line. 
Martinez enlivening the final climb

Martinez enlivening the final climb


Egan Bernal

“The original plan was to not lose time in what was the first test in a longer climb, we weren’t sure how the legs were going to be, we were going to be conservative but anyway, during the race we realised that we were feeling good, it started to rain and we wanted to be at the front. 

"There was a moment in the race where there was the opportunity for us to control of the race, we had the idea to take the opportunity where we knew there was going to be winds at a certain point. 

"I think it was an aggressive race, in the end in the headwind, people in the wheels were able to conserve some energy, so the strategy wasn’t quite a successful, but anyway it all worked out, we didn’t lose any time, a few seconds with a couple of our riders, but we’re taking it bit-by-bit. 

"It was hard, but it was also amazing, we didn’t wait, it wasn’t planned, we arrived at that point and Pippo pulled, even though I was on his wheel I could tell there was a bit of wind, we went round a few bends, I spoke with the riders, with Castro and said if we pull now we can do some damage, and he said if you think so, I’ll speak with the riders. 

"Pippo and the others went full gas, with everything that they had until the first mountain, and although it didn’t do exactly what we wanted, you have to take those opportunities."
Overall standings

1. Attila Valter (Groupama FDJ) 22:17:06
2. Remco Evenepoel (Deuceunick Quickstep) +11"
3. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) +16"
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana Premier Tech) +24"
5. Louis Vervaeke (Alpecin-Fenix) +25"
12. Dani Martinez(INEOS Grenadiers) +1:03"