Italian Damiano Caruso earned a first Grand Tour victory in the 20th and penultimate stage of the Giro d’Italia, a 163km ride from Valle Spluga to Alpe Motta on Saturday, as Egan Bernal closed in on the overall title.
The final climb up Alpe Motta saw Frenchman Romain Bardet (Team DSM) and Caruso (Bahrain-Victorious) lose their domestique riders and pull clear with 5km to go, with home favourite Caruso digging deep to comfortably take the stage victory.
Pink jersey holder Bernal, with his determined Ineos Grenadiers teammates around him, stayed at the head of the peloton for much of the race, keeping the gap between him and the race leaders a manageable one going into the final stages. He ended the day with a 1min 59sec cushion over Caruso.
British rider Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) remains third, but now lies 3min 23sec behind Bernal. Daniel Martínez kept up teammate Bernal’s pace before the Colombian came home in second, and only a disaster in Sunday’s final time-trial stage in Milan will deny him a first Giro title.