Giro d'Italia stage 9 analysis: Bernal holds the balance of power

Giro d'Italia 2021 - 104th Edition - 9th stage Castel di Sangro - Campo Felice (Rocca di Cambio) 158 km - 16/05/2021 - Egan Bernal (COL - Ineos Grenadiers) - photo POOL Fabio Ferrari/BettiniPhoto©2021
Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) after his stage 9 win at the Giro d'Italia (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The Labour prime minister Harold Wilson is supposed to have uttered the phrase “a week is a long time in politics” in the early 1960s. Whether apocryphal or not, it’s a statement that is still applicable almost 60 years on. A week is also a long time in bike racing, and yet, after the first week of the Giro d’Italia, there is very little between the GC favourites. There might be, oddly, one more stage before the first rest day, but the general classification looks set for the first week.

Stage 9 was the first decisive GC day of this year’s Giro so far and yet it was also not decisive at all. There is less than a minute separating the top 10 and it would be difficult to argue that a knockout blow has been made on any of these contenders. All that said, Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) is now in the maglia rosa and looks like the strongest rider in the race, so could this be the point at which the Colombian and his team take control of the race?

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Adam Becket is the staff writer for Procycling magazine. Prior to covering the sport of cycling, he wrote about ecclesiastical matters for the Church Times and politics for Business Insider. He has degrees in history and journalism. A keen cyclist himself, Adam’s favourite race is the Tour of Flanders or Strade Bianche, and he can't wait to go to the Piazza del Campo for the end of the race one day.