The Giro is over. After three brutal weeks of racing, Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) rode the race of truth and held on to keep the maglia rosa and be declared the winner of the race.
In the last week, Bernal looked weak a couple of times, and Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) put Bernal in difficulty on Stages 17 and 19. Despite Yates’ best efforts, he couldn’t shake Bernal enough to steal the maglia rosa.
Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) fought valiantly on the final summit finish of Stage 20 and took some time back in the final time trial, but it wasn’t enough. Caruso stood tall in second place, and Yates third, but Bernal was the star of the show.
The Final Podium
Bernal kept the maglia rosa from Stage 9, taking time on his rivals in the second week, and hanging on despite the best efforts of Yates and Caruso. His first Grand Tour win since the Tour de France in 2019.
It was a brilliant return to form, for Bernal, who has otherwise struggled with back injuries since his Tour victory, and for Team Ineos Grenadiers, who had only had one successful Grand Tour since Bernal’s last victory.
Bernal was the winner by 1:29 over Caruso, and 4:15 over Yates. Riccardo Minali (Intermarche Want-Gobert Materiaux), was the last-placed finisher in 143rd, just 5:35:49 behind Bernal. 35 riders withdrew over the course of the race.
Bernal was also the winner of the maglia Bianco, for the best young rider.
Peter Sagan (BORA-Hansgrohe) and Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroen) held the maglia ciclamino and the maglia Azzurra all the way through to Milan as well. For Sagan, it is a welcome return to his previous world-best form. Four Bouchard, it is a sign that he is ready to join the top echelon of the sport.
The highest placed Australian was Michael Storer (Team DSM) after Nick Schultz was forced to withdraw in the final week. Storer finished in 31st place, 1:49:23 down on Bernal.
Chris Hamilton (Team DSM) finished 45th, 2:17:55 down. Callum Scotson (Team BikeExchange) was 83rd, giving up 3:46:05 to Bernal.
Cam Meyer (Team BikeExchange) celebrated his Olympic berth by finishing 111th, with a 4:38:42 time gap, and Michael Hepburn (Team BikeExchange) was the lowest-ranked Aussie finisher, in 120th, 4:47:58 behind.
Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) bookended the race with a victory on Stage 1 and Stage 21, cementing his credentials for the Olympic Games time trial.
He even managed a smooth bike change on Stage 21 on his way to victory
Ganna was able to enjoy the last week of the race, and his role as a workhorse.
Damiano Caruso won plenty of plaudits for the way he recognised his teammates efforts on his way to a stage win.
The Tour de France starts June 18.
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