Egan Bernal in the pink at Giro d'Italia but Preston rider Hugh Carthy stays in touch
Egan Bernal stormed to victory on the ninth stage of the Giro d’Italia to claim the leader’s pink jersey.
The Colombian rider ended the stage seven seconds clear of Giulio Ciccone and Aleksandr Vlasov following a fine finish to the 158km route.
Bernal, who races for Ineos Grenadiers, assumes the lead of the event, with his first victory of the season after Attila Valter lost pace during the final ascent.
Bernal is 15 seconds clear of Remco Evenepoel in second, with British pair, Preston’s Hugh Carthy and Simon Yates sixth and ninth respectively. Ireland’s Dan Martin is eighth.
Following his triumph, Bernal, who is returning to his best form following a string of back problems, told giroditalia.it: “I cannot believe what just happened, I just won my first stage in a Grand Tour.
“I made a lot of sacrifices to get where I am now. I was thinking I would do well today but I was not sure whether I could have won the stage.
My team-mates had a lot of confidence in me, they told me I could do it. This victory is for them, they really believe in me.”
General classification after stage nine.
1. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos Grenadiers, in 35-19-22
2. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, at 15s
3. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech, at 21s
4. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo, at 36s
5. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ, at 43s
6. Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-Nippo, at 44s
7. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious, at 51s
8. Dan Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation
9. Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange, at 55s
10. Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates, at 1-01