Team Sky has made it clear that Egan Bernal is the protected rider at Volta a Catalunya this week, supporting him in the decisive mountain stages.
And on Friday, Chris Froome proved even further that he’s taking his super-domestique role very seriously, giving Bernal a ride back to the bus on the tops of his handlebars, to the amusement of fans and fellow riders.
Sky’s Colombian leader Bernal had suffered a mechanical in the hectic final kilometers of racing in stage 5.
— Chris Froome (@chrisfroome) March 29, 2019
Bernal was left behind by the peloton in the final kilometer of stage 5, which was won by Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe).
Fortunately for Bernal and Team Sky, since the mechanical happened within the last three kilometers, by rule, he didn’t lose any time in the overall. But he did have to walk to the finish with his broken bike.
Crossing the line in style! @Eganbernal is safely through stage five at #VoltaCatalunya🇪🇸, despite a late mechanical issue. He should stay third on GC due to the 3km rule. Max Schachmann (BOH) stayed clear to win from the day's break.pic.twitter.com/mdrWxX8oDj
— Team INEOS (@TeamINEOS) March 29, 2019
After the eventful finish to stage 3, Bernal remained third overall, 17 seconds behind leader and stage 4 winner Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana).
Bernal will hope for smoother sailing in the final two days of racing in Spain, especially the final stage around Barcelona, which features a hilly circuit that may decide the overall race.