The Colombian Egan Bernal (Ineos) put his victory on track in the Giro d’Italia by achieving the victory in the sixteenth stage, between Sacile and Cortina d’Ampezzo, in which he again gave a display of ambition and strength to make even more difference his pursuers in the general.
What was to be the queen stage of the Giro, with 212 kilometers between Sacile and Cortina d’Ampezzo, was reduced before its departure to 153 and of the four planned ports they were left in two. The organization decided to apply the extreme weather protocol and cancel the ascents to Fedaia and Pordoi due to the accumulated snow and the cold. In this way, the stage was left only with the steps scored by Crosetta and Giau, which became the ‘Cima Coppi’ of this edition with a very constant and very demanding slope with 9.3% ramps.
Giau was precisely the judge of the stage, the one who made the selection of the riders who fought for victory. Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo), Gorka Izagirre (Astana), Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Antonio Pedrero (Movistar) and Davide Formolo (Emirates) arrived in its surroundings. That arrival at the Giau was the strategy that Egan Bernal used to, with some 23 kilometers to go, to show who is the boss of this Giro. He got rid, one by one, of the rivals that were ahead to place himself at the head of the race.
Bernal did not want to give rise to surprises. He looked strong and felt the possibility of sentencing the Italian round on the rain that dyed the sky and the landscape of Cortina d’Ampezzo gray, which received him with the utmost expectation. The Colombian, for the finish photo, took off his raincoat in the final meters and, wearing the pink jersey that has accompanied him for several days, raised his arms to take Damiano Caruso (Bahrain) at the finish line 26 seconds and Romain Bardet (Team DSM).
Bernal’s display, who shook up the race with his physical power to add his second stage victory in this Giro, turned the general standings upside down, in which it seems that now all the emotion is going to be in knowing who will accompany the Colombian in the final podium. In the general, Italian Caruso is second at 2:24, British Hugh John Carthy (EF Education-NIPPO) third at 3:40, Russian Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana) fourth at 4:18 and British Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) at 4:20.
On Tuesday there will be a rest day and on Wednesday the Giro caravan will return with the seventeenth stage, between Canazei and Sega di Ala, of 193 kilometers.