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Giro d'Italia stage 20 – Live coverage

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Buongiorno and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 20, the final mountain stage of this year's Corsa Rosa.

As always, we will have all the live action. 

As the Cyclingnews blimp takes height over Verbania, the riders are signing on with a view over Lake Maggiore. 

Fortunately the sun is out and the temperatures warm. However it will be cooler on the high climbs, with 10C at 2000m, with a risk of rain for the finish and final climb to Alpe Motta. 

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Today's stage is the final mountain stage of this year's Giro and is likely to shake-up the race before Sunday's final time trial.   

Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) took a tense victory on stage 19 of the Giro d’Italia to win at the summit of Alpe di Mera and gain yet more time on race leader Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers).

Click below to read the full report. 

Giro d'Italia: Egan Bernal survives as Simon Yates wins stage 19

Giro d'Italia 2021 - 104th Edition - 19th stage Abbiategrasso - Alpe di Mera 166 km - 28/05/2021 - Simon Yates (GBR - Team Bikeexchange) - photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Egan Bernal is on the sign-on podium. He faces a big day today, perhaps even career defining. 

After losing more time on stage 19, Bernal claimed he was trying to save his legs for the final time trial. He admitted that Yates was the strongest in the final days of the race.

Click below to read what he said.  

Egan Bernal: Simon Yates is the strongest at the Giro d’Italia right now

ALPE DI MERA VALSESIA ITALY MAY 28 Egan Arley Bernal Gomez of Colombia and Team INEOS Grenadiers Pink Leader Jersey at arrival during the 104th Giro dItalia 2021 Stage 19 a 166km stage from Abbiategrasso to Alpe di Mera Valsesia 1531m Stage modified due to the tragic events on May the 23rd 2021 that involved the Mottarone Cableway UCIworldtour girodiitalia Giro on May 28 2021 in Alpe di Mera Valsesia Italy Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Bernal has avoided speaking before the start and is lined up at the start-line. 

Alongside him are the other jersey wearers and stage 19 winner Simon Yates. 

The stage is about to start.   

This penultimate day brings the eighth summit finish of this Giro at the end of a stage with more than 4,200 metres of vertical gain, almost all of it packed into the second half of the 165km run to the first-time finish of the Alpe Motta.

The action starts in Filippo Ganna’s hometown of Verbania, the first intermediate sprint arriving quickly at Cannobio, so we could see a symbolic sprint from points jersey winner Peter Sagan if the break has not formed.  

The route then continues along the northern shore of Lake Maggiore, passing into Switzerland. 

At Lostallo, after 70km of flat roads, the road starts to get a little steeper on the early pitches of the 30-kilometre Passo di San Bernardino, the first of a trio of first-category ascents. Its gradient averages 5.3 per cent, a stat that conceals its difficulty, the road climbing in three hard steps with flat sections in between.

From the 2,065-metre summit of the beautiful San Bernardino pass, the riders will descend very steadily to Splügen and turn onto the shorter, but consistently steeper Passo della Spluga, which has only been tackled once before, way back in 1965 when Vittorio Adorni led over the top. The hardest sections come in the final 4km when the gradient remains stubbornly above 8 per cent.

Crossing the Spluga’s summit, the race returns to Italy. The second half of the 16km drop into Campodolcino is steep and fast, where the riders will turn onto the stunning old road that climbs initially to Madesimo. This was originally planned as the finish, but the stage has been extended to the Alpe Motta (8.1 per cent), making the final ascent 8.9km long, the steepest gradients coming in that final section into the foot of the ski slopes.

From the 2,065-metre summit of the beautiful San Bernardino pass, the riders will descend very steadily to Splügen and turn onto the shorter, but consistently steeper Passo della Spluga, which has only been tackled once before, way back in 1965 when Vittorio Adorni led over the top. The hardest sections come in the final 4km when the gradient remains stubbornly above 8 per cent.

Crossing the Spluga’s summit, the race returns to Italy. The second half of the 16km drop into Campodolcino is steep and fast, where the riders will turn onto the stunning old road that climbs initially to Madesimo. 

This was originally planned as the finish, but the stage has been extended to the Alpe Motta (8.1 per cent), making the final ascent 8.9km long, the steepest gradients coming in that final section into the foot of the ski slopes.

The riders have rolled out of Verbania but face 6.2km of neutralised riding along the edge of Lake Maggiore. 

Everyone was cheering for Filippo Ganna at the start and he was even given honoury citizenship of Verbania. He faces a big role to help defend Bernal's maglia rosa and will then target Sunday's Milan TT.

"Racing at home is special and it's emotional seeing my friends and people I know, it gives you the lift and moral to finish the Giro with good legs," he said.  

"Lets see what happens today all for Egan and then we'll see about tomorrow’s TT.

"I’ve been happy to work for Egan at the Giro, though Puccio and I perhaps deserve a special prize for all the work we've done on the front." 

The riders are packed behind the race directors car. There's a real sense of tension in the peloton.

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This is the profile of the stage.

stage 20

(Image credit: RCS Sport)

A lot of riders seem ready to attack to go in the early break. 

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They're off! 

The final road race stage is underway. 

And we have attacks! 

The riders are enjoying a slight tailwind as the attacks come thick and fast, but so does the chase.

There's an ease in pace as the peloton waits and watches for the next attack.

10km to the intermediate sprint and we have another attack. 

It's UAE attacking again. 

It's Nando Gaviria. He's attacked 3 times so far. 

Gaviria is third in the points competition, with 110 points, 25 down on Sagan. 

Vincenzo Nibali is racing today and so will surely reach Milan despite his crashes and suffering at the Giro. 

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Gaviria's move is caught but another one goes away.

Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal) goes solo but is caught. 

The sprint comes in 3km. 

The intermediate sprint  awards 12 points to the winner, so there is a fight for the placings behind Sagan.  

It should be Gaviria - v - Cimolai as they fight for second and third place.

Sagan is also up front. He's keen to show off his cyclamen jersey too. 

Sagan leads it out. 

Marengo of Bardiani takes it. Gaviria is third and Cimolai, so Cimo keeps his second place behind Sagan. 

After all-but sealing overall victory in the points classification at the 2021 Giro d'ItaliaPeter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) is celebrating with a new-look Specialized Tarmac SL7.

The bike is painted in a cyclamen colour, to reflect the colour of the maglia ciclamino, the jersey worn by the leader of the points classification. In the past week, Sagan has worn a purple helmet, with further nods to the jersey on his glasses and socks. Now, he has a full paint job on his bike for the final three stages. 

Click below to see the full details and photo gallery.

Peter Sagan gets new ciclamino Specialized Tarmac SL7 at Giro d'Italia

Peter Sagan Specialized Tarmac SL7

(Image credit: Veloimages / Bora-Hansgrohe)

The riders blast through Cannobio and so soon into Switzerland. 

Dario Cataldo has tried to go clear but is pulled back with even Egan Bernal up front and vigilant. 

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More attacks and more chasing.  

Taco van der Hoorn is very active and Alpecin keep sending riders on the attack. 

The race blasts through the Italy-Swiss border with the speed high. 

We have group of attackers. This looks serious.

The break dives into a 1100m tunnel. 

The peloton has eased slightly. We could have a break. 

130km to go

It's been a fast and furious opening 30km. 

But we have 9 riders in the attack. 

It's great to see the USA's Matteo Jorgenson of Movistar in the attack. 

The peloton is at 30 seconds. 

The races is in Locarno and the mountains are nearing.

The break has 40 seconds but the peloton is lined out in pursuit. 

Deceuninck is leading the chase. For the break or to work for Almeida? 

Nibali is also attacking to try to join an counter attack. 

The peloton has to avoid lots of un protected road furniture on these Swiss roads.

That's not good to see. 

These are the nine riders in the attack: 

Dries De Bondt, Louis Vervaeke (Alpecin-Fenix), Simon Pellaud (Androni-Sidermec), Giovanni Visconti (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Felix Großschartner (Bora-hansgrohe), Vincenzo Albanese (EOLO-Kometa), Taco Van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar) and Nico Denz (Team DSM).

They are working well together as there are 30km to the start of the first climb.

115km to go

The peloton has eased and so the break has opened a 2:25 lead.

The peloton moves over to let the team cars pass and go up to the breakaway. 

The gap is up to 3:30.

The gap to the peloton is up to 4:50.

For now, no team seems willing to chase the break, so that the GC contenders can fight for the stage victory. 

We spoke too soon.  Iljo Keisse is on the front for Deceuninck, while Bike Exchange also have riders up there to help with the chase.

For now Ineos let them do the work as they protect Bernal and save their legs for the three big climbs. 

The gap has stabilised at 5:20. 

Simon Pellaud (Androni-Sidermec) is again on the attack. He is about to secure victory in the Premio Fuga competition, that awards ther rider who spends the most kilometres on the attack. 

Pellaud has been out front for 695km so far in this year’s Giro in breaks of ten riders or less. He’s also been in bigger breaks and so raced out front for close to 1000km - a third of the total race distance. 

Chapeau Simon!.

VERONA ITALY MAY 21 Simon Pellaud of Switzerland and Team Androni Giocattoli Sidermec in the Breakaway during the 104th Giro dItalia 2021 Stage 13 a 198km stage from Ravenna to Verona girodiitalia Giro UCIworldtour on May 21 2021 in Verona Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

As we dip below 100km to go, the peloton is reducing the gap below 5:00. 

We're seeing a battle of nerves now, as Bike Exchange try to test Bernal and Ineos, while Almeida rides for the stage victory. 

  

Interestingly Trek has also placed a rider upfront to help with the work. That's a sign that Nibali wants to try to win the stage. 

Jacopo Mosca is driving hard for Trek. He's a very useful rider, woh can go in breaks, fight for the win and do the team work. 

The Passo San Bernardino starts very soon. It's a long one. 

stage 20

(Image credit: RCS Sport)

The speed in the peloton is high because the riders are lined out, holding the wheel in front. 

This video highlights the tension in the race and the expected battle between Bernal, Caruso and Yates. 

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Our journalists in Italy Alasdair Fotheringham and Barry Ryan have been speaking to and observing Bernal, Yates and Caruso closely. 

Alasdair wrote this excellent analysis piece before today's stage.

Giro d’Italia: Egan Bernal the favourite but resurgent Simon Yates can test his resolve

Giro d'Italia 2021 - 104th Edition - 19th stage Abbiategrasso - Alpe di Mera 166 km - 28/05/2021 - - photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The break's lead has fallen to 3:40. 

The peloton is on their case. 

This first part of the San Bernardino is constant at 8% for 8km. 

But it is only the first step of 3. It is followed by a flat 1km sector, 4km at 7.4%, another flat sector and then a final 7km at 6.7%. 

It means near 90 minutes of climbing. 

80km to go

The break is on the climb but the road is wide and the gradient constant at 8% for the opening 8km. 

It is followed by 1km flat section, another 6km at 7.4%, another flat section and then a final 7.5km at 

As the gradient begins to hurt, the break is splitting up.  

Felix Großschartner (Bora-hansgrohe) and Louis Vervaeke (Alpecin-Fenix) pushed on ahead of the other 7 attackers.

The riders in the break are spread down the climb. 

75km to go

Felix Großschartner (Bora-hansgrohe) and Louis Vervaeke (Alpecin-Fenix) have been jonied by Giovanni Visconti (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) and Vincenzo Albanese (EOLO-Kometa).

Bike Exchange are leading the peloton with 2 riders, the gap is at 4:15 and so under control.

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Michael Hepburn and Christopher Juul-Jensen are doing the hard work for Yates and Bike Exchange as others in the peloton grab a bidon or musette in a feed zone. 

The team vehicles that fed the riders are now passing the GC peloton. There's no alternative route to get ahead of the race, so they are waved passed the riders.   

Egan Bernal is sat safely in the peloton behind his Ineos teammates. He is again pushing a slightly harder gear. 

Giro d'Italia 2021 - 104th Edition - 19th stage Abbiategrasso - Alpe di Mera 166 km - 28/05/2021 - Egan Bernal (COL - Ineos Grenadiers) - photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Now we have five up front. Simon Pellaud (Androni-Sidermec) has surged across to the break. 

We expected nothing less from the Swiss rider but adopted Colombian.

The hard grind of Michael Hepburn and Christopher Juul-Jensen has pulled the break back to 3:30 with Taco Van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) swept up. 

The break reaches the second flat sector of the San Bernardino and give their legs a brief respite.

The peloton is still pretty large, with at least 100 riders in there as they sweep up Matteo Jorgenson, who was in the attack. 

Now it is Team DSM on the front, riding for Bardet's stage win hopes.

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DRTENDORF GERMANY MAY 28 Lotte Kopecky of Belgium and Team Belgium stage winner celebrates at arrival during the 34th Internationale LOTTO Thringen Ladies Tour 202 Stage 4 a 101km stage from Drtendorf to Drtendorf 420m ltlt2021 lottothueringenladiestour womencycling on May 28 2021 in Drtendorf Germany Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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The riders are close 2000m now. They are near the snow line. 

The pace set by DSM has lined out the GC peloton as Bernal and others grab the capes and wrap-up for the long descent.

They go from 2065m to 1400m in 20km of descending. 

Riders are taking their clothing from their team staff along the road. 

There's a stiff headwind at the summit of the Passo San Bernardino.

The road is dry but there is a lot of snow along the road. It's a spectacular moment after the fog and cloud stopped us admiring the other high mountain stages. 

Albanese beats Visconti to take the KOM prize at the summit. 

The peloton is only 45 seconds behind at the summit. 

Geoffrey Bouchard leads the peloton to take a few extra points for sixth place and so to defend his blue KOM jersey.

The descent is one  spectacular hairpin after another. 

The peloton is lined  out but 3 DSM rider have edged clear in chase of the attackers. 

Interestingly, Pello Bilbao and Damiano Caruso are trying to join then, forcing Ineos to lead the chase. 

This could be a sign of things to come.  But Ineos have six riders. 

Bardet is chasing a stage victory but the presence of Caruso will not help them.

45km to go

Bernal is not panicking for now. Caruso only has 20 seconds on the GC group. 

The rain is coming down now on the valley road. 

Salvatore Puccio is giving his all to chase the Bardet/Caruso attack. But the ten riders lead by 30 seconds.

This chase will hurt Ineos and perhaps leave them a rider short on the final climb.

Bardet is at 7:32 and so not a big GC threat.

40km to go

The passo di Spluga is about to start.

This is the climb where we expect Simon Yates to try to attack.

Puccio is done, leaving Ineos and Bernal with just four teammates. 

The Passo dello Spluga is 8.9km long at 7.3%. 

stage 20

(Image credit: RCS Sport)

Moscon takes over from Puccio on the front.

Visconti and Hamilton are swept up as the climb hurts. 

The break leads by 26 seconds.  

Behind riders are falling out of the Bernal group. 

They include Nibali. He tried to go on the attack early on but was chased down.

There's a real sense of tension now and that the attacks could come very soon. 

But will Bernal have the power to respond or will he try to limit his time loss. 

Moscon has dropped off the front as the Caruso/Bardet attack pushes out their lead to 40 seconds. 

35km to go

Bilbao is driving the attack for Caruso. 

for now Yates is sat on the wheels but looks good. Will he attack soon? 

For now Bernal looks cool and in control. His mouth is open slightly but he not suffering, or at least not showing it.

VALLE SPLUGA ALPE MOTTA ITALY MAY 29 Egan Arley Bernal Gomez of Colombia and Team INEOS Grenadiers Pink Leader Jersey during the 104th Giro dItalia 2021 Stage 20 a 164km stage from Verbania to Valle Spluga Alpe Motta 1727m Switzerland CHE UCIworldtour girodiitalia Giro on May 29 2021 in Valle Spluga Alpe Motta Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Louis Vervaeke (Alpecin-Fenix) is caught by the peloton but Bilbao and Storer are driving the attack for Caruso and Bardet. 

Their lead is up to 50 seconds. Are Ineos just controlling or unable to go any faster?  

Castroveijo has taken over on the front of the Bernal group as Kangert goes off the back and James Knox too. 

There are only 20 riders in the Bernal group.

It's raining again, adding an extra twist to the stage.

Almeida, Dan Martin and Carthy are in the front group.

1km to the summit of the Passo dello Spluga.

The riders are already above the snow level.

The pack rides across the San Bernardino pass Switzerland during the 20th stage of the Giro dItalia 2021 cycling race 164km between Verbania and Valle Spluga Alpe Motta Madesimo on May 29 2021 Photo by Luca Bettini AFP Photo by LUCA BETTINIAFP via Getty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Caruso puts on his warm cape for the descent. 

It's 20km of descending in cold air before the climb to the finish.

30km to go

The Bernal group is now 45 seconds.

At the summit of the Spluga, Caruso, Bilbao, Storer and Bardet are still together.

The Bernal group is at 45 seconds.

Bernal has Castroviejo and Dani Martinez with him.

The descent is wet due to the rain. 

Bilbao leads Caruso on the descent as Vlasov attacks Bernal on. Race on!

Spectators cheer as the pack rides in the ascent of the San Bernardino pass Switzerland during the 20th stage of the Giro dItalia 2021 cycling race 164km between Verbania and Valle Spluga Alpe Motta Madesimo on May 29 2021 Photo by Luca Bettini AFP Photo by LUCA BETTINIAFP via Getty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

As the pass the lake and the road flattens, Vlasov leads Bernal by 100m but the chasers are split and lined out. 

The sun is out and the road dry but  there is still a lot of the descent to come.

The final climb starts with 7.3km to go.

Bernal and Ineos are not panicking just yet, they lead Caruso overall by 1:50. 

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If Simon Yates is feeling good,  he has opted to wait until the final climb to make his big attack. 

This is the Bardet/Caruso attack. 

Giro d'Italia 2021 - 104th Edition - 20th stage Verbania - Valle Spluga - Alpe Motta 164 km - 29/05/2021 - Damiano Caruso (ITA - Bahrain Victorious) - Felix Grossschartner (AUT - Bora - Hansgrohe) - photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

And here Castroviejo leads Bernal, some 40 seconds behind.

Giro d'Italia 2021 - 104th Edition - 20th stage Verbania - Valle Spluga - Alpe Motta 164 km - 29/05/2021 - Jonathan Castroviejo (ESP - Ineos Grenadiers) - Egan Bernal (COL - Ineos Grenadiers) - photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

This is the Alpe Motta climb.

stage 20

(Image credit: RCS Sport)

Almeida does not seem on a great day but he gets back up to the Bernal group. But he's suffering.

Giro d'Italia 2021 - 104th Edition - 20th stage Verbania - Valle Spluga - Alpe Motta 164 km - 29/05/2021 - Scenery - San Bernardino - photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The hairpins dive into the forest as the kilometres tick down quickly on the descent.

Caruso has never won a Grand Tour stage and so perhaps want this one. So does Bardet. 

But their lead stays at just 40 seconds.

Martinez loses Bernal's wheel and so they ease up to help him get back on. 

Martinez is weaker on the descents but vital on the climb up to the finish.

10km to go

It's almost time for the final climb. 

Fasten your seatbelt! This climb could decide the 2021 Giro d'Italia.

Castroviejo leads again, with Martinez also there with them. 

Yates is there and around 10 others GC riders. Yates is sat on Bernal's wheel. 

7km to go

Castroviejo is done and eases off. Bernal only has Martinez to help him.

He's the only one with a teammate and so is in control for now. 

Bernal and Yates are in the big ring! 

Storer is dropped up front as Bilbao gives his all to lead Caruso and Bardet. 

Will Yates attack or will he avoid any risk and ride to secure a place on the podium?

6km to go

Bilbao is done and so Caruso takes over, with Bardet fighting to hold his wheel. 

When Bilbao eased up, Caruso patted him on the shoulder in thanks. What a gent Caruso is.  

As the hairpin section of the final climb start at 8.6%, the Bernal group is down to just 5/6 riders. 

Martinez leads Bernal, Vlasov, Carthy and Yates are there, with Almeida fighting back on.

5km to go

The roads eases now before a 9.8% final 2km sector. 

Caruso and Bardet still lead by 35 seconds. 

Bardet is fighting to stay with Caruso.

Like yesterday Martinez is towing Bernal to the finish. His speed is stopping attacks from their rivals. 

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Martinez, Bernal and Yates are alone, they've dropped Vlasov and Almeida.

Caruso and Bardet lead by only 25 seconds with 3km to go. 

The road kicks again now, up to and over 9%. 

This is the final 3km. It will hurt. 

stage 20

(Image credit: RCS Sport)

Caruso takes 3 bonus second at the very late intermediate sprint.

Bardet takes 2 seconds and Bernal takes one second.  

Martinez is doing a heroic ride. 

2km to go

Bang! 

Bardet cracks. 

Caruso pushes on alone. 

Behind Yates is also suffering. He was indeed on a bad day. 

Yates is slipping off the back of Martinez, Bernal and Almeida. 

Caruso is alone and the tifosi are screaming him towards victory. 

Yates is fighting to limit the gap.

They're all heroic today after 19 days of racing. 

Last Km for Caruso! 

Yates slips back and Almeida too. 

Martinez and Bernal catch Bardet.  

Yates is trying to save himself, he eases off slightly but fights on. 

Caruso dances on the pedals in the final 500m. 

This win is huge for him and also cements his second place overall.

Caruso looks back, fastens up his jersey and celebrates his stage win.

Bernal finishes just 24 seconds back.

Martinez and Bardet a few seconds back.  

Yates loses 51 seconds to Caruso and so the Sicilian will start the final time trial with a lead of 1:24.

Caruso pulled his jersey down, pointed to his team name and then himself. 

This is the top ten for the stage: 

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

This is the general classification 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

Caruso is the winner today and seems to have secured second place overall. 

Here's the moment Caruso won. 

Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) won stage 20 of the 2021 Giro d'Italia

(Image credit: Getty Images)

He won it alone! 

Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) won stage 20 of the 2021 Giro d'Italia

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Italian TV call Caruso the Gattopardo, the cat-like animal but also the the name of the film about Sicilian life.  

"I'm not a campione but I've had my day as a campione today," Caruso says emotionally. 

Egan Bernal was relieved to have limit his losses to Caruso and kept his overall victory on track. 

“We knew how to manage the race again today. My teammates did a great job and Castroveijo managed things perfectly and did a great job. I have to thank them,” he said.

VALLE SPLUGA ALPE MOTTA ITALY MAY 29 Egan Arley Bernal Gomez of Colombia and Team INEOS Grenadiers Pink Leader Jersey passing through Splgenpass Passo dello Spluga 2115m mountain landscape during the 104th Giro dItalia 2021 Stage 20 a 164km stage from Verbania to Valle Spluga Alpe Motta 1727m Snow UCIworldtour girodiitalia Giro on May 29 2021 in Valle Spluga Alpe Motta Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

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.”

"In the end I trusted myself and my team and we pulled it off," Bernal said. 

"I’ve got 2:00 now in the GC. I can lose something but I’ll try to do my best. I’ll do the TT flat out. I didn’t think I’d start the TT with 2:00 so I’m hopeful. But I won’t be sure of victory until I’ve won it.”  

Bernal and Ineos will be happy to have kept the race and a 2:00 lead. The stage could have gone so wrong but the strength of the team ensured it went so right. 

Overlal leader Team Ineos rider Colombias Egan Bernal celebrates on the podium after the 19th stage of the Giro dItalia 2021 cycling race 166km between Abbiategrasso and Alpe di Mera on May 28 2021 Photo by Luca Bettini AFP Photo by LUCA BETTINIAFP via Getty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Caruso is liked by almost everyone in the peloton and the sport. He's a team player and talented rider but rarely got the success he deserved.

This is likely the first of many tweets by other riders.

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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. 

Almeida fought hard today. He was unable to win the stage but held his eighth place overall.   

He is clearly a fighter and a future Grand Tour contender.

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The podium places seem secure even before the final Milan TT. However there will be a fight for other placings.   

Dani Martinez will surely move past Romain Bardet to move up to fifth, while Almeida could move past Hugh Carthy to take seventh.

Caruso was emotional after his victory

"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!"

ALPE DI MERA VALSESIA ITALY MAY 28 Damiano Caruso of Italy and Team Bahrain Victorious at arrival during the 104th Giro dItalia 2021 Stage 19 a 166km stage from Abbiategrasso to Alpe di Mera Valsesia 1531m Stage modified due to the tragic events on May the 23rd 2021 that involved the Mottarone Cableway UCIworldtour girodiitalia Giro on May 28 2021 in Alpe di Mera Valsesia Italy Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Geoffrey Bouchard and AG2R are also celebrating after winning the blue mountains jersey.   

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To read our full stage report and to see the full results and our growing photo gallery of all the action, click below.

Giro d'Italia: Damiano Caruso wins stage 20

Team Bahrain rider Italys Damiano Caruso rides in the final ascent on his way to win the 20th stage of the Giro dItalia 2021 cycling race 164km between Verbania and Valle Spluga Alpe Motta Madesimo on May 29 2021 Photo by Luca Bettini AFP Photo by LUCA BETTINIAFP via Getty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images SPort)

This is a great shot of Caruso on his way to victory.

VALLE SPLUGA ALPE MOTTA ITALY MAY 29 Damiano Caruso of Italy and Team Bahrain Victorious passing through Valle Spluga Alpe Motta 1727m mountain during the 104th Giro dItalia 2021 Stage 20 a 164km stage from Verbania to Valle Spluga Alpe Motta 1727m Public Fans UCIworldtour girodiitalia Giro on May 29 2021 in Valle Spluga Alpe Motta Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images SPort)

This shows the incredible work that Martinez did for Bernal.

VALLE SPLUGA ALPE MOTTA ITALY MAY 29 Daniel Felipe Martinez Poveda of Colombia and Team INEOS Grenadiers during the 104th Giro dItalia 2021 Stage 20 a 164km stage from Verbania to Valle Spluga Alpe Motta 1727m UCIworldtour girodiitalia Giro on May 29 2021 in Valle Spluga Alpe Motta Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images SPort)

Bernal stays in the maglia rosa and nothing can surely stop him from winning tomorrow in Milan.

Overall leader Team Ineos rider Colombias Egan Bernal celebrates on the podium after the 20th stage of the Giro dItalia 2021 cycling race 164km between Verbania and Valle Spluga Alpe Motta Madesimo on May 29 2021 Photo by Luca Bettini AFP Photo by LUCA BETTINIAFP via Getty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images SPort)

Which GC riders lost time on stage 20 to Alpe Motta? 

How does the GC look before the Milan time trial? 

Click below for all the details.

Giro d'Italia: Which GC riders lost time on stage 20 to Alpe Motta

VALLE SPLUGA ALPE MOTTA ITALY MAY 29 Damiano Caruso of Italy and Team Bahrain Victorious celebrates at podium during the 104th Giro dItalia 2021 Stage 20 a 164km stage from Verbania to Valle Spluga Alpe Motta 1727m Kask Utopia Giro Helmet designed by MotoGP artist Aldo Drudi to stage winners The peloton passing through flowery landscape UCIworldtour girodiitalia Giro on May 29 2021 in Valle Spluga Alpe Motta Italy Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images SPort)

Riders have been fighting for 20 stages but there remains a lot of respect and fair play amongst the riders. 

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Damiano Caruso also showed his class by patting his teammate Pello Bilbao on the back or working so hard for him. 

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Here's Egan Bernal's flash interview after the stage.

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This is our full stage report, full results and growing photo gallery from stage 20.

Giro d'Italia: Damiano Caruso wins stage 20

VALLE SPLUGA ALPE MOTTA ITALY MAY 29 Daniel Felipe Martinez Poveda of Colombia and Team INEOS Grenadiers during the 104th Giro dItalia 2021 Stage 20 a 164km stage from Verbania to Valle Spluga Alpe Motta 1727m UCIworldtour girodiitalia Giro on May 29 2021 in Valle Spluga Alpe Motta Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images SPort)

Thanks for following our full live coverage. We'll be back on Sunday will full live coverage of the time trial and the podium celebrations in Milan as the final curtain falls on the 2021 Giro d'Italia.

Overall leader Team Ineos rider Colombias Egan Bernal celebrates on the podium after the 20th stage of the Giro dItalia 2021 cycling race 164km between Verbania and Valle Spluga Alpe Motta Madesimo on May 29 2021 Photo by Luca Bettini AFP Photo by LUCA BETTINIAFP via Getty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images SPort)

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