'The war is far from over' at the Giro d'Italia 2021, according to Romain Bardet

The French rider looks to be set for a big push towards the podium spots in the final week of the race

Romain Bardet on the descent of the Passo Giau during stage 16 of the Giro d'Italia 2021
Romain Bardet on the descent of the Passo Giau during stage 16 of the Giro d'Italia 2021
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Romain Bardet says that the war isn't over at the Giro d'Italia 2021 as he looks poised for an assault on the podium spots in the final week of the race.

Bardet (DSM) has been quietly putting in a very solid Giro and is now starting to make up some time against his other rivals in the high mountains, now sitting 1-22 off third-place Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Nippo).

Frenchman Bardet managed second on stage 16 of the race after a daring descent saw him catch Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) before out-sprinting the Italian to the line just 27 seconds behind Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers).

But he revealed after the finish he did not know that he had taken second on the stage.

Even after his formidable ride, Bardet is now sixth overall with five stages remaining, 5-02 behind maglia rosa Bernal. 

>>> 'Despite the changes it was an epic ride' - Pros react to brutal shortened stage 16 of the Giro d'Italia 2021

Speaking in a rest day press conference, Bardet said: "I have put on some strong showings in the past few days, so for sure I can catch riders like Carthy, [Aleksandr] Vlasov or even Caruso. They are in a better position than me for the podium spots but the fight is not over.

"It could be a tight fight because I think there are six guys fighting for just two spots so who knows what can happen but as we saw yesterday [stage 16] the classification is not sealed yet, it should be interesting to see."

"We will just try and focus on ourselves, we will try to move up some spots in the GC, the war is far from over, anything can happen in the Giro but Bernal looks really solid and he has the best team around so it will be a big challenge for everyone, but there is some good racing still to happen."

The 30-year-old Team DSM rider is well known for being talented on the downhill of mountains, but he had over 20 seconds to close on Caruso over the top of the Passo Giau on stage 16 of the race, even so, he seemed unfazed: "I just gave my best in the last 4km of the climb when Bernal attacked and we were all one by one to reach the top.

"I caught him [Caruso] like in a kicker in the middle part of the descent, I didn't want to go down the descent too fast because it was very cold up there and the road was sliding a bit, but I was happy.

"I knew I could join him because I was like 20 seconds at the top and I could always see him just in front of me so I knew I could make it.

"My radio wasn't working in the last part of the stage for some reason so I didn't know if there were some guys in front of us aside from Bernal, but anyway, that doesn't change anything in the end."

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.