Bernal poised to win Giro as Italian Caruso wins stage 20

Egan Bernal retained a two-minute lead in the Giro d’Italia on Saturday when he followed stage 20 winner Damiano Caruso across the Alpe Motta summit finish line

Caruso tightened his grip on second place in the overall standings and Ineos leader Bernal has a big enough lead to go into Sunday’s last day 18.6 individual time-trial to Milan’s Duomo cathedral confident of adding the 2021 Giro to his 2019 Tour de France triumph.

“I’m satisfied with the result. I think we managed the situation well. We have two minutes in advantage for tomorrow’s time trial. So are in a good position,” said Colombian Bernal, winner of two stages in this Giro.

Bernal added, “I was scared of losing. I’m full of different emotions. I had the legs and the teams but there was Caruso up front who was a GC rival. When he got 30 or 40 second, even if I felt good, I was worried I could suffer. It was easy to lose 1:30 and then have to fight in the final TT.”

After seeing his overall lead trimmed on consecutive stages Bernal was a study in cool Saturday as stage 20 embarked from picturesque Verbania on the shores of Lake Maggiore heading towards Switzerland and 25 miles of climbing on three snow-capped mountains.

As the stage ascended its final climb towards the Alpe Motta, Frenchman Romain Bardet and Italian rider Caruso took a lead of less than a minute with 3 miles to go.

Caruso crossed the summit to a rapturous reception as he won his first major tour stage, 24sec ahead of Bernal as Englishman Yates finished sixth on the day at 51 sec.

Caruso has taken Italy's sixth win at this year's Giro. He is also set to be the best placed Italian rider in second place, saving Italian pride after Nibali's problems. 

"I'm not the champion, but I had my day," said Bahrain-Victorious rider Caruso, who had adopted ultra-conservative stealth tactics until his attack on Saturday, "I thought about a thousand things in the last meters before the finish line, all my sacrifices, my training, and all the work done by my teammates," he said. 

"We rode in an exemplary way today, Pello Bilbao in particular did an incredible job and he played a fundamental role in this victory. Today I realized a dream, I think I am the happiest man in the world!"

Bernal heads to Milan with an overall lead of 1min 59sec on Caruso with Yates third at 3min 23sec, after the top three finished stage 1's individual time-trial within six seconds of each other.

Ineos Grenadiers are going for a third Giro after Tao Geoghegan Hart won it in 2020 and Chris Froome in 2018.

VIDEO: 2021 Giro d'Italia Stage 20 Highlights

2021 Giro d'Italia Stage 20 Top 10

1 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious 4:27:53
2 Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 0:0:24
3 Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 0:0:35
4 Romain Bardet (Fra) Team DSM
5 João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:0:41
6 Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange 0:0:51
7 Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech 0:01:13
8 Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-Nippo 0:01:29
9 Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team 0:02:07
10 Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:23

2021 Giro d'Italia GC after Stage 20

1 Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 85:41:47
2 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious 0:01:59
3 Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange 0:03:23
4 Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech 0:07:07
5 Romain Bardet (Fra) Team DSM 0:07:48
6 Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 0:07:56
7 Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-Nippo 0:08:22
8 João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:08:50
9 Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma 0:12:39

Tag: giro
Jun 14 2022 - NEWS: VIDEO: Marmolada Madness: Tifosi go crazy on the final climb of the Giro
May 29 2022 - NEWS: Australia's Jai Hindley wins Giro d'Italia
May 28 2022 - NEWS: Jai Hindley powers into race lead on Queen Stage
May 27 2022 - NEWS: Bouwman wins 19th Giro stage, Carapaz ready for Queen Stage
May 26 2022 - NEWS: Belgian Dries De Bondt wins stage 18 from the breakaway
May 25 2022 - NEWS: Buitrago wins tough Stage 17 as Carapaz hangs onto Pink Jersey
May 24 2022 - NEWS: Giro GC wide open as Hirt hits First High in the Mountains
May 21 2022 - NEWS: Simon Yates bounces back to win tough Giro Stage in Torino
May 20 2022 - NEWS: Hat Trick for Démare as Lopez retains the pink jersey
May 19 2022 - NEWS: Oldani earns first professional win as López keeps lead
May 18 2022 - NEWS: Italian Alberto Dainese wins Giro d'Italia stage 11 Sprint
May 15 2022 - NEWS: Jai Hindley conquers Blockhaus as Yates loses 11 minutes
May 14 2022 - NEWS: De Gendt sprints to Giro stage victory in Naples
May 13 2022 - NEWS: Bouwman win's his first grand tour stage as López keeps Giro lead
May 12 2022 - NEWS: Arnaud Démare does the Double on Giro d´Italia Sprint stage 6
Sep 12 2016 - RESULTS: Hundreds Tackled the Gigantic Mt. Palomar in 5th Annual Giro Di San Diego
Sep 09 2014 - RESULTS: Giro di San Diego GranFondo
Nov 12 2013 - RESULTS: Giro d Italia Wraps Up an Amazing Season in Miami
Jun 04 2013 - RESULTS: Giro d'Italia Los Angeles Pasadena
Mar 19 2017 - EVENT: Giro d'Perth
May 26 2018 - EVENT: TOSH Giro Donna
Oct 06 2019 - EVENT: Pathfinder Giro
Jan 26 2020 - EVENT: Gravel Ride Barcelona - Girona
Jul 01 2022 - EVENT: Engadin Bike Giro
Jul 16 2022 - EVENT: Bodensee Gravel Giro
Jul 17 2022 - EVENT: Giro D'Cucinetta p/b Genesis Maple
Jul 31 2022 - EVENT: ARLBERG Giro
Sep 25 2022 - EVENT: B1 Giro D'Joia
Oct 02 2022 - EVENT: Sparkassen Münsterland Giro