On the dirt service road leading to the ski lift atop Campo Felice, Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) powered past the remnants of a breakaway with 550 metres to go and stamped his authority on stage 9 of the Giro d'Italia with the win. In the process the former Tour de France champion won his first individual stage in a Grand Tour and also slipped on the maglia rosa in his debut Giro.
Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) tried to follow Bernal’s acceleration, but settled for second on the stage, followed by Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) with the same time, seven seconds off the pace. Bernal, who took 10 bonus seconds for the stage win, now leads the race by 15 seconds over Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and 21 seconds over Vlasov.
Starting Sunday morning in the maglia rosa, Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ) struggled on the final climb, finishing 25th on the stage and slipping to fifth on GC, 43 seconds back. The eight nearest riders to Bernal on GC are within a minute.
The 158-kilometre journey from Castel di Sangro was strewn with climbing and periods of light rain. A main breakaway of 16 riders had formed with 67km to go, but in the meantime a slip and crash on a descent took Bahrain Victorious' Matej Mohoric out of the race. He had been in the lead group at that time, and appeared to hit a crack in the road that caused him to somersault off his bike and land on his head. He was able to stand, near his bike that had the fork snapped off from the force of the crash, but Mohoric was placed into a neck brace and into the ambulance.
With 26km to go, multiple attacks came from the 16-rider breakaway, including a solid attempt to stay clear by Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R-Citroën) and Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma). The duo rode alone through the tunnel and roundabout that led to the final 1.6km on dirt and then Ineos Grenadiers launched a full-on attack from there to lead Bernal to the win.
Check above for the video highlights of stage 9 at the Giro d'Italia.
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