Stage 9 of the 2021 Giro d’Italia was a tough day. The saw-tooth profile delivered roughly 3,400 metres of climbing, but it was the last 1.6 km of the stage that promised to be the most exciting. After reaching the ski resort of Campo Felice, the riders would turn off the bitumen and onto a steep gravel track up a ski slope.
It looked like the stage winner was going to come from the breakaway, but the Ineos Grenadiers had other ideas. They rode a strong tempo late, paving the way for a monstrous, big-ring attack from Egan Bernal.
Bernal had said at the start of the day that he still wasn’t sure how his long-running back injury would affect his chances. By the time he crossed the line solo, it seemed clear the 2019 Tour de France winner was back to his best.
Here’s how a wonderful finish to stage 9 played out, with photos courtesy of Cor Vos and RCS Sport.