Giro d'Italia: Brilliant Bernal extends lead as Schmid seals debut win

By Sports Desk May 19, 2021

Egan Bernal extended his lead in the Giro d'Italia as Mauro Schmid claimed a stage victory on his race debut.

The gravel roads that highlighted stage 11, an arduous 162-kilometre ride from Perugia to Montalcino, always promised to provide a stern challenge.

But it was one that maglia rosa holder Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) overcame in style, as his attack on the final climb saw him extend his lead from 14 seconds to 45.

Deceuninck–Quick-Step's Remco Evenepoel, who had been in second, lost over two minutes as his hopes of contending in the general classification were dealt a significant blow.

Further forward, it was Schmid (Qhubeka Assos) and Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates) who were the last men standing from the breakaway.

And it was Schmid who had the most left in the tank of the two debutants over the final few metres after a dramatic and elongated sprint to the line.

However, his victory will be overshadowed by the exploits of the phenomenal Bernal who, along with Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), finished just over three minutes behind the stage winner.

The Colombian now has a firm grip on the pink jersey and, though there are still 10 stages to go, stands as the firm favourite to win the second Grand Tour of his career.

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