MONTE ZONCOLAN, Italy — Italian rider Lorenzo Fortunato soloed to victory atop the fearsome Monte Zoncolan as Egan Bernal extended his overall, the Giro d’Italia.
Fortunato, who rides for Eolo-Kometa, attacked with around 2 kilometers remaining of the 205-kilometer (127-mile) route from Cittadella to, at the top of one of the Giro’s most prestigious climbs.
“I haven’t fully realized what I just did yet,” the 25-year-old Fortunato said. “I knew I was in good shape, and this morning, I wanted to go in the breakaway. “I knew that the last 3 kilometers were the hardest; for this reason, I waited for the final part of the Zoncolan to attack, and then I gave it everything until the finish line”.
Fortunato’s first victory in more than eight years, having last won as a junior. Jan Tratnik was second, 26 seconds behind Fortunato. The duo had escaped from the remains of the breakaway shortly after the start of the ascent of the Zoncolan, which was covered in snow.
and then attacked the British rider in the fog at the summit to finish fourth and extend his overall lead to 1 minute, 33 seconds ahead of Yates, who moved into second. Alessandro Covi was third, 59 seconds behind Fortunato. Bernal, the 2019 Tour de France winner, is 1:51 ahead of third-place .
“I tried to remain calm when we tackled the Zoncolan because I knew I was in a good position in the GC and did not need to attack first,” said Bernal, who rides for. “I followed when he attacked, and then I did an acceleration in the finale. “I think I did a good race. Now I have a good lead, but I must
Giro saw the riders climb the Zoncolan from the more accessible side. It was still,l nevertheless,s one of the most arduous ascents of the race. The last 3 kilometers had gradients often exceeding 20% and topping out at 27%, along with the hairpins in the final kilometer.
Eolo-Kometa is owned by retired cyclists Ivan Basso and Alberto Contador, who both won the Giro twice. Contador had vowed to ride from Madrid to Milan if the team won a. And, in a on Instagram of him watching the finale, the emotional Spaniard said he would keep his promise.
Sunday’scrosses into Slovenia and covers the fourth-category climb to Gornje Cerovo three times on the 147-kilometer (91-mile) route from Grado to Gorizia. The Giro finishes on May 30 in Milan with an individual . Fortunato wins atop Zoncolan,and that originally appeared on NBCSports.com.