Montalcino (Italy) (AFP)

The Colombian Egan Bernal (Ineos) reinforced his pink jersey as leader of the Giro in the 11th stage, that of the "white paths" of dirt, Wednesday in Montalcino, where the victory went to the young Swiss Mauro Schmid (Qhubeka).

The Belgian Remco Evenepoel, the big loser of the day, was left behind in the last 20 kilometers and gave up more than two minutes to Bernal, winner of the Tour de France 2019.

The young Colombian (24 years old), very comfortable throughout the day, took time from all his opponents for the general classification.

In the climb leading to the village of Montalcino, he pushed Russian Aleksandr Vlasov to about twenty seconds, in the vanguard of a group comprising the British Hugh Carthy and Simon Yates.

Evenepoel, dropped for the first time in the descent of the first of the four dirt sectors, was definitely left behind on the third.

Suffering, he was rescued by the Portuguese Joao Almeida but he fell in the standings from second to seventh place, 2 min 22 sec from the pink jersey.

Frenchman Romain Bardet gave in in the final, as did Italian climber Giulio Ciccone to a lesser extent.

At the front, the survivors of the breakaway of 11 riders launched from the start fought for the win of this 162 km stage.

Schmid, a young 22-year-old rider, took the upper hand over the Italian Alessandro Covi with whom he had cleared in the last kilometers and opened his prize list among professionals.

In the general classification, Bernal is now 45 seconds ahead of Vlasovi and 1 min 12 sec over the Italian Damiano Caruso.

Thursday, the 12th stage connects Siena to Bagno di Romana over 212 kilometers of a hilly course, favorable to backpackers.

With the fourth and last climb, the Passo del Carnaio, at the entrance of the last ten kilometers.

© 2021 AFP