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Dan Martin among very best as Egan Bernal rips it up on Giro gravel | Video

Posted on: May 16th, 2021

Egan Bernal takes the stage victory and the maglia rosa but in his wake, as the others fought to limit their losses, Dan Martin once again showed he’s in great form and one of the very strongest on this Giro(Photo: Fabio Ferrari)

Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) looked back his best in the finale of the Giro’s stage 9 today, winning the day after aggressively attacking the final kilometre, uphill on the gravel, and also taking the race lead.

While Bernal looked like he may gain very significant time on his rivals after he attacked, many of them recovered quite well and the gaps were more modest.

However, the manner in which Bernal really took on the finish of the stage – 158km from Castel di Sangro to Campo Felice – suggests his back injury is very much holding up, for now, and that his form is as good as it’s been since his Tour de France win in 2019.

The last two men standing from the early breakaway – Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën) and Koen Bouwman (Jumbo Visma) – were still clear with 500 metres to go but Bernal went past them, with Ciccone hanging out of him, like they were stopped.

When Bernal went today, Ciccone was with him but couldn’t hold him for long, though the Italian Trek-Segafredo rider finished 2nd at seven seconds. Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) was 3rd on the same time.

Then came Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Dan Martin (Israel Start Up Nation) in 4th and 5th and 10 seconds behind Bernal. Evenepoel and Martin were just two seconds up on the next line of riders.

Breakaway men Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën) and Koen Bouwman (Jumbo Visma) are passed by Bernal just before the line, with Ciccone just behind trying to hold the Colombian (Photo: Fabio Ferrari)

That group contained most of the main favourites; Simon Yates (BikeExchange), Hugh Carthy (EF Education Nippo), Romain Bardet (Team DSM) and Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious).

The pink jersey today, Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ), slid back a little on the final climb, finishing in 25th at 49 seconds and he has now dropped to 5th overall.

Bernal now leads the race by just 15 seconds from Evenepoel, with Vlasov in 3rd at 21 seconds. Dan Martin remains 8th overall and he is 51 seconds off Bernal. But as was the case on stage 6, when Bernal attacked today Martin was among the very small number of riders able to stay closest to him.

Egan Bernal and his partner Maria Fernanda after the prize podium presentation in the maglia rosa (Photo: Marco Alpozzi)


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