Brilliant Bernal wins 2021 Giro d'Italia

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Egan Bernal has won the Giro d'Italia

Colombia's Egan Bernal won the 2021 Giro d'Italia on Sunday, the Ineos Grenadiers leader given a hero's welcome in front of Milan's Duomo cathedral at the end of the 21st stage time-trial.

The 24-year-old Colombian won two individual stages and completed the 3,479km course 89 seconds ahead of Italy's Damiano Caruso while Briton Simon Yates was third.

The last day 30.3km individual time-trial was won by Bernal's teammate Filippo Ganna, who also won the opening day time-trial.

The Giro win marks a return to form for Bernal who flopped when the cards were stacked against him at the 2020 Tour de France.

The climb specialist who grew up in the Andes took the overall lead on stage nine on a dirt track finish that would have suited this former mountain biker.

He then staged an iconic finish-line triumph on stage 16, stripping off his outer clothing on a cold, rain sodden mountain to cross the finish line first in the pink jersey with his arms wide in acclamation.

It was a similar scene in Milan Sunday as a broad smile swept away his stoney-faced racing look as he raised his arms at the end of three hard weeks where he proved last year's failure was a blip.

Bernal was forced on to the back foot for a few days by a resurgent Yates, but was able to nurse a comfortable lead over the tense last few stages.

For Ineos (formerly Team Sky) it was a third Giro victory after Tao Geoghegan Hart won it in 2020 and Chris Froome in 2018.

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