Mauro Schmid secured his first Grand Tour win on stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia, a 162-kilometre ride from Perugia to Montalcino, while Egan Bernal extended his lead in the general classification.
Switzerland’s Schmid pulled clear of the peloton early on and battled it out with Alessandro Covi after a thrilling race, pipping the young Italian on the line to secure the stage win in the 21-year-old Swiss rider’s debut season. Harm Vanhoucke finished third.
Bernal remained at the head of the peloton for the majority of the stage through the Tuscan gravel roads, before the Colombian made his move at the end the final climb up Passo del Lume Spento. Remco Evenepoel came into the stage second and 14 seconds behind Bernal, but having kept pace early on he struggled and dropped off the peloton, with visibility poor at the back of the main group.
The day belonged to Ineos Grenadiers’ Bernal, who pulled clear of the pack as the stage entered Montalcino to finish 11th and end the day 45sec clear of Aleksandr Vlasov in the general classification.
“Today was a really hard day,” said Bernal. “We expected some big gaps and actually there were a lot of GC riders who lost a lot of time. I’m happy to arrive at the front and we need to stay focused for the next days. We should be happy with this day.”
The home favourite Damiano Caruso rose to third overall after a solid ride through the dust, while the British duo Hugh Carthy and Simon Yates rode into the top five after staying, for the most part, with Bernal.
Stage 12 on Thursday is a 212km ride from Siena to Bagno di Romagna.