Romain Bardet and Damiano Caruso, second in the general classification, put pressure on Egan Bernal during this last mountain stage. But the Colombian remains in pink on the eve of the final time trial.
“Take the risk or lose the chance” is the motto of Romain Bardet, which was even inscribed for a time on the frame of his bike. During this 20th stage of the Giro, the French followed it to the letter. More than 50 kilometers from the finish, in a wet descent, Bardet went out with two teammates. Faced with his talents as a descender, only one of the favorites managed to follow him: Damiano Caruso, also chaperoned by a lieutenant.
The Frenchman had two objectives in launching hostilities while there were still two climbs before the finish: to win the stage, his first on the Giro, and to make a close in the general classification. On arrival at Alpe Motta, he did not win and his efforts were not very well paid, but he still took a handful of seconds from almost all of his opponents in the general.
Bardet goes up but should lose time on Sunday
The winner of the day, Damiano Caruso, confirmed his second place behind Egan Bernal. For a while, the Italian even thought he could reverse the race, when the peloton of favorites was almost one minute away. But the Ineos team held the house, thanks to Salvatore Puccio, Gianni Moscon, Jonathan Castroviejo and especially Daniel Felipe Martinez, who carried his leader.
In the final climb, Bernal let go of all his competitors one by one and finished second on the stage, behind only Caruso. Those who thought it was wavering understood that there was nothing to be done. The Colombian did not want to take excessive risks on the descent but he was untouchable on the climb. Overall, his pink jersey still holds firm, with a 1’59 lead over Caruso.
The final time trial tomorrow, between Senago and Milan, should not make Bernal doubt. Romain Bardet, he climbs back to fifth place overall thanks to his business of the day. The Frenchman will however have a hard time keeping this place on Sunday since Martinez, Carthy and Almeida, who follow him in the standings, are better rollers than him. Proof that the plume does not always pay off.