ROME (Dispatches) - Egan Bernal has retained a two minutes lead in the Giro d’Italia when he followed stage 20 winner Damiano Caruso across the Alpe Motta summit finish line.
Caruso tightened his grip on second place in the overall standings but Ineos leader Bernal has a big enough lead to go into Sunday’s last day 30.3km individual time-trial to Milan’s Duomo cathedral confident of adding the 2021 Giro to his 2019 Tour de France triumph.
Bernal was a study in cool Saturday morning as the stage 20 embarked from the pretty town of Verbania on the shore of Lake Maggiore, where in warm sunshine the peloton headed towards 38kms of climbing on three snow capped mountains.
As the race ascended its final climb towards the Alpe Motta Frenchman Romain Bardet and Italy’s Caruso led.
Bernal bided his time behind his sherpa Daniel Martinez before unleashing a late burst on the steep slope to drop third-placed Simon Yates and overtake Bardet, who crept into the top ten with his performance.