Egan Bernal hit a double hit on Sunday in a difficult mountain stage in the Giro d'Italia.

The Colombian won the ninth stage and took over the first place in the general classification from the Hungarian Attila Valter.

Vluchter Koen Bouwman was passed shortly before the finish.

Bernal charged Bouwman and the Frenchman Geoffrey Bouchard, who were both left over from an early breakaway, shortly before the finish and soloed to victory.

Giulio Ciccone finished second in seven seconds, ahead of Aleksandr Vlasov.

Remco Evenepoel was unable to keep up with Bernal's pace in the final and finished fourth after ten seconds.

Rosette wearer Valter admitted 49 seconds to the stage winner.

Bouwman had to be content with fifteenth place, which made him the best Dutchman in the day result.

In the general classification, Bernal is now fifteen seconds ahead of Evenepoel, who remains second.

Vlasov is the new number three on 21 counts and Valter drops to fifth place.

Ciccone also passed the Hungarian in the standings.

Monday the Giro continues with a hill ride of 139 kilometers from L'Aquila to Foligno.

On the way only a col of the fourth category has to be conquered and the finish is on a flat section.

#Giro - Stage 9 - Top 10

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Avatar Authorlaflammerouge16Moment of places14: 38 - May 16, 2021

Mollema and Bouwman in a large leading group

The ninth stage took the peloton over 158 kilometers from Castel di Sangro to Campo Felice.

After three climbs of the second category and one of the third category, the finish was on a climb of the first category.

On the first climb of the day, a leading group formed including Bouwman, Bauke Mollema and Jumbo-Visma leader George Bennett.

Several other riders joined later, resulting in seventeen escapees on the second pass.

The lead of this group has fluctuated around three minutes for a long time.

On the penultimate climb it rained attacks in the leading group and Bouchard and Simon Carr managed to drive away, with a short lead on Mollema and Bouwman.

The final of the mountain stage was extremely exciting.

Shortly before the final climb, Bouchard jumped away from Carr and took half a minute ahead of the chasing group.

At 4 kilometers from the finish, Bouwman chased Bouchard and soon joined the Frenchman.

The duo was 40 seconds ahead of the favorites group in the final kilometer on an unpaved road and seemed to be fighting for the stage victory.

With 200 meters to go, however, Bernal went on the attack and quickly passed the breakaway and crossed the finish line well ahead of the competition.

Egan Bernal took over the pink jersey from Attila Valter.

Egan Bernal took over the pink jersey from Attila Valter.

Photo: LaPresse

See also: View all rankings of the Giro, with Bernal in pink