Egan Bernal loses time to Simon Yates on stage 17 of the Giro d’Italia

The maglia rosa cracked on the final climb as Yates attacked

Egan Bernal on stage 17 of the 2021 Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Egan Bernal lost time on stage 17 of the Giro d’Italia, as he cracked on the final climb to Sega di Ala. 

The Colombian star has been the dominant rider in the 2021 edition of the Italian Grand Tour and went into the tough climbing day with a considerable margin over his rivals. 

But as the road turned upwards towards the brutal summit finish Bernal, who led the race by almost 2-30 at the start of the day, began to show the first cracks.

Early on the 11km-long, 9.6 per cent gradient climb, Bernal and Ineos Grenadiers looked untouchable as they set a crushing pace on the fluctuating ramps, until Simon Yates (BikeExchange) launched his attack 3km from the summit. 

After initially being the only general classification contender strong enough to follow Yates, Bernal suddenly cracked dramatically, and looked barely able to pedal on the steep slopes of the climb. 

As Yates continued to ride away to gain time, Bernal lost more time and was joined on the road by his nearest rival Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Victorious). 

The 24-year-old rallied in the final few kilometres, as his team-mate Dani Martínez dropped back to support the race leader.

By the finish, Bernal had lost 53 seconds to Yates but had only dropped three seconds to Caruso, maintaining his race lead with four stages remaining. 

Bernal still leads the race by 2-21 to Caruso, as Yates surges two places up the leaderboard into third, now 3-23 off the race lead. 

The stage victory went to Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation), who completed the set of Grand Tour stage victories after a tough day in the breakaway. 

>>> Chris Froome on dominance of young riders: ‘15-year-olds can get on Strava and see how Tour de France winners are training’

Martin added the win to his two stage victories in the Tour de France, and his 2020 Vuelta a España stage.  

Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.