Campo Felice (Rocca di Cambio) (Italy) (AFP)
Colombian Egan Bernal took the lead in the overall standings of the Giro d’Italia on Sunday when he moved away from his main rivals to win the mountain fight of the ninth stage.
The leader of Ineos and winner of the Tour de France 2019 walked away from a small group on a gravel ski slope above the clouds, the other contenders for the general having only been able to watch his jump.
Giulio Ciccone finished second at 7s and Alexandr Vlasov third along with Remco Evenepoel and Dan Martin finished 10 seconds behind and Romain Bardet at 12.
Great Britain’s Simon Yates lost a handful of seconds again, but there are still 12 difficult stages to complete.
Bernal, 24, suffered from back problems that forced him out of last year’s Tour and have limited his competitive time ever since.
“I sacrificed so much to be here,” said an emotional Bernal at the line. “I can’t tell you how happy I am to be here to talk to you now. “
Italian Gianni Moscon guided Bernal on the last steep slope beyond treeline to his highest elevation so far with an average gradient of 9% with sections at 12%.
“I hadn’t planned on winning the stage, but my teammates were encouraging me to go,” said Bernal, who produced his exhilarating attack 600 meters from home as the final was contested ‘off track’ , on a gravel track. used as a ski slope in winter.
Sunday’s stage was marked by a dramatic crash on the descent of the Passo Godi to the 35km mark when Matej Mohoric crashed into a crack in the road, breaking his bike in half and landing on his head after a somersault. in flight.
The Slovenian remained conscious but was taken to hospital for x-rays and kept for observation.
© 2021 AFP