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Egan Bernal (Ineos) rode clear with under two kilometers to go to take the win at Gran Piemonte. His teammate Ivan Sosa finished six seconds behind, a fitting sign of a dominant team performance. Nans Peters (Ag2r-La Mondiale) came third.
“It’s my first victory in Italy,” said Bernal, who first raced in Europe with the Italian pro continental team Androni-Giocattoli Sidermec.
“I was doing a lot of races here in Italy, and it’s my first race in Piemonte, the region where I lived for two years, so it feels really special to win here.”
Ineos took control of much of the finale of the 183-kilometer race, driving the pace to swallow the breakaway riders on the first of the race’s two concluding climbs, and continuing to set the tempo through the summit finish atop Santuario di Oropa.
With 5km to go, the constant tempo of the fleet of four teammates working for Bernal had reduced the front group to around 20 riders. Diego Rosa (Ineos) took control through much of the first half of the 11km climb to the line, with only Astana and Ag2r-La Mondiale able to keep numbers in contention.
Mathias Frank (Ag2r-La Mondiale) was the only rider to set a wheel in front of the Ineos train through the entire final climb with his brief skirmish at around 4km to go. He soon succumbed to the relentless pace set by the British team though, with Sosa now in charge of the pace and the field constantly thinning.
“I was feeling really good during the race, and I asked the guys to do a good tempo, and Sosa did a really good job,” said Bernal afterward. “I think that although I won, Sosa was almost stronger than me. He did a really, really, really, good job and has shown that he’s one of the strongest in the peloton for the climbs.”
With the Colombian pair of Sosa and Bernal on the front, only Peters, Frank, Dan Martin (UAE-Team Emirates), and Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) remained in contention, and only 3km to go.
Martin, Buchmann, and Peters were distanced one by one, and only Frank was left clinging on as the two Ineos riders led the race.
Bernal launched from behind his teammate’s wheel with 1.7km to go, and looked untouchable all the way to the top as he took his first race victory on Italian soil. Behind him, Sosa won the scrap for the line, leaving Ineos with a one-two on the podium.
Bernal now heads to Il Lombardia on Saturday, where he’ll go head-to-head with Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), who is on a tear after two wins in three days earlier in the week, and Michael Woods (EF Education First), who goes to the race full of confidence after his win at Milano Torino on Wednesday.
- Egan Bernal (Ineos): 4:24:16
- Ivan Sosa (Ineos): +0:00:06
- Nans Peters (Ag2r-La Mondiale): +0:00:08
- Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): +0:00:10
- Dan Martin (UAE-Team Emirates): +0:00:11
- Mathias Frank (Ag2r-La Mondiale): +0:00:40