Colombia’s Egan Bernal has won the Giro d’Italia, keeping his composure throughout a tough final week to claim his second grand tour victory with a ruthlessly efficient performance.
The Ineos-Grenadiers rider completed his victory on Sunday with a safe ride in the final time trial, a 30.3-km effort in Milan won by Italian Filippo Ganna, to beat Italian Damiano Caruso (Bahrain- Victorious).
Britain’s Simon Yates (Bike Exchange) took third place overall after threatening Bernal in two of the last three mountain stages.
But the 24-year-old Colombian, whose 2020 season was hampered by back problems after he won the 2019 Tour de France, stayed cool under pressure and with the invaluable support of his lieutenant and compatriot Dani Martinez, effectively sealed the overall win in Saturday’s final mountain trek.
Caruso attacked early in that stage but Bernal kept the gap under control before securing second place on the day with a late acceleration, ensuring himself enough of a cushion to prevent any nasty surprises in the final time trial.
Bernal built his victory in the first two weeks, with a stunning attack on gravel roads to claim his maiden grand tour stage victory in Campo Felice and another dominant ride in Cortina d’Ampezzo, his win overshadowed somewhat by the organisers’ decision to shorten the stage due to bad weather.
The second Colombian to win the race after Nairo Quintana in 2014, Bernal can now look to join Jacques Anquetil, Felice Gimondi, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali and Chris Froome on the list of riders with titles in all three grand tours.
Next up for Bernal may be the Olympics road race, although he said this week he was not sure if he would be going to Tokyo.
He could then take part in the Vuelta and even if Briton Adam Yates – Simon’s twin brother – is the Ineos-Grenadiers’ team leader, Bernal could complete a grand-tour treble there.
He could also become the youngest rider to do so. Contador was 25 when he achieved the feat.