Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Brilliant Bernal wins Giro d’Italia

Brilliant Bernal wins Giro d’Italia

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Egan Bernal wins the 2021 Giro d’Italia on May 30. AFP

Brilliant Bernal wins Giro d’Italia

Colombia’s Egan Bernal won the 2021 Giro d’Italia on May 30, the Ineos Grenadiers leader given a hero’s welcome in front of Milan’s Duomo cathedral at the end of the 21st stage time-trial.

The 24-year-old Colombian won two individual stages and completed the 3,479km course 89 seconds ahead of Italy’s Damiano Caruso while Briton Simon Yates was third.

The last day 30.3km individual time-trial was won by Bernal’s teammate, the time-trial world champion Filippo Ganna, who also won the opening day time-trial.

The Giro win marks a return to form for Bernal who flopped when the cards were stacked against him at the 2020 Tour de France.

“The Maglia Rosa [leader’s jersey] is special. It’s the most beautiful race in the world’s most beautiful place,” Bernal said.

“I’ll never forget this Giro, and the way I won it, with attacks and sprinting on the flat for bonus seconds against Remco Evenepoel. That is who I am and the cycling I like,” said the champion.

The climb specialist who grew up in the Andes took the overall lead on stage nine on a dirt track finish that would have suited this former mountain biker.

He then staged an iconic finish-line triumph on stage 16, stripping off his outer clothing on a cold, rain sodden mountain to cross the finish line first in the pink jersey with his arms wide in acclamation.

It was a similar scene in Milan on May 30 as a broad smile swept away his stony-faced racing look as he raised his arms at the end of three hard weeks where he proved last year’s failure was a blip.

“I was wracked with doubt, and I might not look like it, but now I’m just filled with joy,” said the champion.

Bernal was forced on to the back foot for a few days by a resurgent Yates, but was able to nurse a comfortable lead over the tense last few stages.

Italian job

For Ineos (formerly Team Sky) it was a third Giro victory after Tao Geoghegan Hart won it in 2020 and Chris Froome in 2018.

The Giro was the perfect setting for a Bernal comeback given that the rider had made Italy his second home after first arriving in Europe from Colombia.

Ineos leader Dave Brailsford said last season he needed to cut Bernal some slack after the strain of his failed Tour defence so that he could ‘get the smile back on his face’.

As the Colombian national anthem blasted out across the Piazza Duomo, Bernal was grinning broadly.

Over the whole three weeks Bernal and Ineos found plenty of fans along the route as Ganna, known to Italian fans as ‘Top Ganna’, was cheered on by roadside supporters, as was the tough road captain Gianni Moscon.

“Egan started it with a bang,” said Ineos principal Brailsford after overseeing his 12th Grand Tour victory. “But the team finished it off, there’s a moment where the winner always suffers and it’s how you manage that that’s important.”

Another Italian, Bahrain-Victorious’ Caruso, had never won a grand tour stage victory before but was thrust into the limelight when team leader Mikel Landa pulled out injured.

The 30-year-old Sicilian was given a rapturous reception in front of the Duomo and will be remembered as a journeyman who played his cards right when presented with an opportunity.

Yates said he was happy to be on the podium, but may regret not riding more aggressively in the first two weeks as his tactic of keeping his powder dry for the finale backfired due to Ineos’s strength in depth and ability to protect Bernal on his weak days.


  • Wing Bank opens new branch in front of Orkide The Royal along Street 2004

    Wing Bank celebrates first anniversary as commercial bank with launch of brand-new branch. One year since officially launching with a commercial banking licence, Wing Bank on March 14 launched a new branch in front of Orkide The Royal along Street 2004. The launch was presided over by

  • Girl from Stung Meanchey dump now college grad living in Australia

    After finishing her foundational studies at Trinity College and earning a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Melbourne in 2022, Ron Sophy, a girl who once lived at the Stung Meanchey garbage dump and scavenged for things to sell, is now working at a private

  • Ministry using ChatGPT AI to ‘ease workload’; Khmer version planned

    The Digital Government Committee is planning to make a Khmer language version of popular artificial intelligence (AI) technology ChatGPT available to the public in the near future, following extensive testing. On March 9, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications revealed that it has been using the

  • Wat Phnom hornbills attract tourists, locals

    Thanks to the arrival of a friendly flock of great hornbills, Hour Rithy, a former aviculturist – or raiser of birds – in Kratie province turned Phnom Penh tuk tuk driver, has seen a partial return to his former profession. He has become something of a guide

  • PM urges end to ‘baseless’ international Ream base accusations

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urges an end to “baseless” foreign accusations surrounding the development of the Kingdom’s Ream Naval Base, as the US has consistently suggested that the base is being expanded to accommodate a Chinese military presence. Hun Sen renewed his calls while

  • Almost 9K tourists see equinox sunrise at Angkor Wat

    Nearly 9,000 visitors – including 2,226 international tourists – gathered at Angkor Wat on March 21 to view the spring equinox sunrise, according to a senior official of the Siem Reap provinical tourism department. Ngov Seng Kak, director of the department, said a total of 8,726 people visited Angkor Wat to