Vuelta a San Juan: Egan Bernal abandons, Filippo Ganna fined for illegal position
Double trouble Saturday for Ineos Grenadiers riders as Bernal suffers knee pains, Ganna picked up for arms-on-the bars aero position.
Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Ineos Grenadiers saw two of its leaders in the headlines at the Vuelta a San Juan on Saturday.
Egan Bernal was forced to abandon due to knee pain in the opening kilometers of Saturday’s sixth stage, while Filippo Ganna confirmed he was sanctioned for his arms-on-the-bars pursuit on the Alto del Colorado mountaintop.
Ganna was caught out for his over-aero position while chasing after Miguel Ángel López to place second in Friday’s summit finale.
The burly Italian time trial star does not receive a time penalty and so holds on to his second-place overall.
“Following yesterday’s stage, the UCI made me aware that I had ridden in an illegal position by resting my forearms on the handlebars. During that moment of the race I was really pushing my limits and momentarily lost concentration,” Ganna wrote on social media Saturday.
“I accept the penalty given by the UCI Commissaire, and as ever I respect that we must all abide by the UCI regulations.”
Oh boy! 😲 Ganna is in TT mode at almost 2.5k altitude, it’s uphill and he’s chasing Superman Lopez. #VueltaSJ2023 pic.twitter.com/FRZRLUWVGf
— ammattipyöräily (@ammattipyoraily) January 27, 2023
The UCI made waves when it banned the aero-tuck and arms-on-the-bars position in 2021, a ruling that can result in disqualification – as Marianne Vos found out at the Postnord Vårgårda WestSweden last summer.
Ganna however remains in the race and has a 30-second gap on López to overhaul in the final stage Sunday.
Knee issues call time on Bernal’s impressive debut
There was less luck for Bernal though.
The Colombian star withdrew in the opening kilometers of stage 6 on Saturday.
“Egan Bernal has reluctantly withdrawn from the Vuelta a San Juan due to pain in his left knee sustained in the crash he was involved in on stage one of the race,” Ineos Grenadiers confirmed.
The team did not give any detail of the severity of the problem.
Bernal had made an impressive start to the first race in his post-injury comeback season.
The two-time grand tour champion went on the attack in stage 4 earlier in the week, and backed it up with a chase into fourth behind stage winner and GC-leader López on the Colorado climb Friday.
Bernal is next scheduled to race at the Colombian nationals late next week before making his European debut at the Ruta del Sol mid-February.