Egan Bernal time trials to 2021 Giro d'Italia Victory in Milan
Colombia's Egan Bernal won the 2021 Giro d'Italia on Sunday, the Ineos Grenadiers leader given a hero's welcome in front of Milan's Duomo cathedral at the end of the 21st stage time-trial
The 24-year-old Colombian won two individual stages and completed the 3,479km course 89 seconds ahead of Italy's Damiano Caruso while Briton Simon Yates was third.
The last day 30.3km individual time-trial was won by Bernal's teammate Filippo Ganna, who also won the opening day time-trial.
The Giro win marks a return to form for Bernal who flopped when the cards were stacked against him at the 2020 Tour de France.
The climbing specialist who grew up in the Andes took the overall lead on stage nine on a dirt track finish that would have suited this former mountain biker.
He then staged an iconic finish-line triumph on stage 16, stripping off his outer clothing on a cold, rain sodden mountain to cross the finish line first in the pink jersey with his arms wide in acclamation.
It was a similar scene in Milan Sunday as a broad smile swept away his stoney-faced racing look as he raised his arms at the end of three hard weeks where he proved last year's failure was a blip.
Bernal was forced on to the back foot for a few days by a resurgent Yates, but was able to nurse a comfortable lead over the tense last few stages.
"It's difficult to realize what I’ve done. I have just won a Giro d'Italia. I have no words after what happened in these two years," Bernal said.
Bernal is the second Colombian to win the Giro, seven year after Nairo Quintana, who also win when he was just 24 years old.
Bernal huged team Italian Filippo Ganna who won the final time trial, team Ineos celebrating a double win, they won Team Classification too.
Filippo Ganna won the "Trofeo Bonacossa" that is a trophy assigned by a jury to prize "the most beautiful undertaking of Giro d'Italia"
Peter Sagan won the sprinters Ciclamino points jersey and Geoffrey Bouchard the KOM climber jersey.
Simon Pellaud won the breakaway prize and Dries De Bondt the Intermediate Sprint Classification prize/
Bahrain-Victorious wons the "Fair play" trophy for the best behaved team throughout the 3 week Grand Tour of Italy
For Ineos (formerly Team Sky) it was a third Giro victory after Tao Geoghegan Hart won it in 2020 and Chris Froome in 2018.
VIDEO: 2021 Giro d'Italia Stage 21 Highlights
2021 Giro d'Italia Stage 21 Top 10
1 Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers 0:33:48
2 Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:12
3 Edoardo Affini (Ita) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:13
4 Matteo Sobrero (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech 0:00:14
5 João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:27
6 Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Team Qhubeka Assos 0:00:33
7 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-Nippo 0:00:34
8 Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain Victorious 0:00:42
9 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:44
10 Iljo Keisse (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:47
2021 Giro d'Italia Final General Classification
1 Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 86:17:28
2 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious 0:01:29
3 Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange 0:04:15
4 Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech 0:06:40
5 Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 0:07:24
6 João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep
7 Romain Bardet (Fra) Team DSM 0:08:05
8 Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-Nippo 0:08:56
9 Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma 0:11:44
10 Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation 0:18:35