Alpe di Mera (Italie) (AFP)
Briton Simon Yates launched a solo attack to win the 19th stage of the Giro d’Italia on the summit of Alpe di Mera on Friday, but Egan Bernal remained at the top of the general classification.
The Colombian Bernal, champion of the Tour de France 2019, finished third of the day to keep the leader’s pink jersey just two stages from the end.
He is now ahead of Damiano Caruso, second in the general classification, by two minutes and 29 seconds, with Yates 20 seconds behind.
Bernal d’Ineos could almost seal his second Grand Tour title on Saturday’s 20th and penultimate stage, a 164km mountain race from Verbania to Valle Spluga.
Yates, the 2018 Vuelta a Espana winner, however, kept his title hopes slim with an enterprising race on Friday.
The 28-year-old BikeExchange rider was 11 seconds ahead of Joao Almeida of Portugal that day and 28 seconds ahead of Bernal, while collecting bonus seconds.
It was Yates’ fourth stage victory at the Giro, but the first in this year’s race, having won the other three in 2018 when he broke down on stage 19 and took a large lead overall.
He put some of those demons to rest, however, attacking more than four miles from the summit and comfortably pulling away from Bernal.
Italy’s Caruso stayed on track for a surprise podium as he lost just eight seconds to Bernal that day.
© 2021 AFP