Giro d'Italia

Giro d’Italia: How the GC looks after mayhem on Monte Zoncolan

Egan Bernal continues to dominate the GC battle at the Giro d'Italia, Simon Yates emerges as a new challenger while others fade on the Monte Zoncolan.

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

All Access
15% off New Year Sale
$7.02 / month*

  • A $500 value with everything in the Print + Digital Plan plus 25+ benefits including:
  • Member-only content on all 17 publications in the Outside network like Beta MTB, Peloton, Clean Eating, Yoga Journal, and more
  • Today’s Plan training platform with customized programs
  • Download your personal race photos from FinisherPix* for one race (up to a $100 value).
  • Get up to $30 off your next race and $30 off race fees every year you are a member through AthleteReg*.
  • Expert gear guides and reviews for cycling equipment, performance apparel and tech
  • Discounted race entries to local sportives and centuries
  • Outside TV Shows, Films, and documentaries
Join Outside+

Print + Digital
50% Off New Year Sale
$2.00 / month*

  • Annual subscription to Peloton magazine
  • Access to all member-exclusive content and gear reviews on
  • Ad-free access to
Join VeloNews & Peloton

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

Monte Zoncolan: two words that strike fear into the heart of any rider.

The mighty Monte lived up to its formidable reputation at the Giro d’Italia on Saturday with riders struggling across the line in ones and twos. Lorenzo Fortunato notched up another win for the breakaway stars but behind there was a brutal GC battle brewing.

Also read: Giro d’Italia stage 14: Lorenzo Fortunato conquers the Zoncolan as Egan Bernal gains more time

After dominating nearly every inch of the GC contest so far, Egan Bernal showed that he is still the strongest rider in the race at this time. Simon Yates emerged for the first time from the pack to take time on most of his rivals, while Aleksandr Vlasov suffered badly in the final kilometers and Remco Evenepoel slipped down another spot in the standings.

As was expected, the Monte Zoncolan delivered another major shake-up in the overall classification. Bernal extended his advantage in the maglia rosa, but he now leads a new rider in Yates – who is 1:33 behind the Colombian. Meanwhile, Damiano Caruso holds resolutely onto his third place in the overall standings.

The lay of the land

  1. Egan Bernal 05:17:22
  2. Simon Yates (+3) +01:33
  3. Damiano Caruso (+0) +01:51
  4. Aleksandr Vlasov (-2) +01:57
  5. Hugh Carthy (-1) +02:11
  6. Emanuel Buchmann (+0) +02:36
  7. Giulio Ciccone (+1) +03:03
  8. Remco Evenepoel (-1) +3:52
  9. Daniel Martínez (+1) +03:54
  10. Romain Bardet (+1) +04:31
  11. Tobias Foss (-2) +05:37
  12. Attila Valter (+0) +07:49
  13. Dan Martin (+4) +07:50
  14. João Almeida (+2) +08:32
  15. Ruben Guerreiro (+4) +09:19

Bernal dominance and Yates emergence

Simon Yates and Egan Bernal dropped the rest on the Monte Zoncolan
Simon Yates and Egan Bernal dropped the rest on the Monte Zoncolan Photo: Tim de Waele / Getty Images

Bernal has been clinical in the undoing of his Giro d’Italia rivals and it was no different on the Monte Zoncolan. The Colombian showed no signs of wavering or weakness on the Italian brute, using his teammates expertly to whittle down the bunch on the steep slopes of the climb.

Aside from Gianni Moscon’s questionable decision to follow Vincenzo Nibali down a descent into Bagno di Romagna earlier this week, Ineos Grenadiers has barely put a foot wrong during this Giro d’Italia. The team’s work is made easier by fact that Bernal’s confidence and form is as high as it has ever been.

The pink jersey was hot on the tail of Yates as the Brit moved clear of the pack inside the final few kilometers of the Zoncolan climb. He looked comfortable riding in the saddle as he sat on the wheel of BikeExchange rider, only getting out of it as he sought to distance his companion with less than a kilometer to go.

Also read: VN Archives: Monte Zoncolan’s Giro d’Italia debut

Bernal gained more than 10 seconds on Yates in that short distance and put at least 40 seconds into most of the other major contenders.

To borrow an old cliché, the race is far from over yet and Bernal’s lead of 1:33 is not unassailable, but it is going to take something special to unseat the Colombian from his position at the top of the standings.

In Yates, Bernal has found himself a new and improving challenger with the capabilities and knowledge of what it takes to win a grand tour. The Zoncolan was the first time we have been given the opportunity to see Yates really test himself and those around him.

He looked far more sprightly than he has throughout this Giro d’Italia, despite the brutality of the climb, and he indicated after the stage that he was over an illness that had been suffering with through the early part of the race.

If Yates can maintain this renewed vigor, he could pose the biggest threat to Bernal’s firm grip on the overall title.

The battle for the podium

Damiano Caruso is holding onto third overall
Damiano Caruso is holding onto third overall Photo: Tim de Waele / Getty Images

Amid the ups and downs of the general classification, Caruso held firmly onto his final podium spot. Without casting aspersions on the Italian veteran, he is currently in a fight to keep a hold of his position rather than ascending the standings – though one should never count these things out.

Vlasov and Hugh Carthy both slipped down the overall classification after faltering on the Zoncolan, while Giulio Ciccone appears to have found himself again and gained time on some of those ahead of him.

Places on the podium are still very much to play for with 90 seconds separating Yates in second and Ciccone in seventh place. This should hopefully provide us with a very aggressive final week of racing as riders look to improve their fortunes ahead of Milan.

All those between second and seventh will still have to be wary of Evenepoel in eighth, despite the Belgian having another difficult day Saturday. Following his blow-up on the gravel stage to Montalcino, his gap on the Zoncolan was not as much as some might have feared.

Evenepoel lost another 90 seconds to Bernal but lost closer to 40 seconds to most of the other GC contenders. With a very strong time trial in his arsenal, Evenepoel could still climb the GC ranks before the end of the race.