Egan Bernal could not hold back his tears after his double victory in the Giro d'Italia.

The Colombian won a difficult mountain stage on Sunday and also took over the pink jersey from Hungarian Attila Valter.

"My first stage win in a grand tour stirs up a lot of emotions," said a moved Bernal.

"I have made a lot of sacrifices to achieve this since my overall victory in the Tour and am now very happy."

The 2019 Tour winner jumped out of the favorites group in the ninth stage shortly before the finish, passed early breakers Koen Bouwman and Geoffrey Bouchard and crossed the line solo.

The 24-year-old Bernal was ten seconds ahead of Remco Evenepoel, who had no answer in the final to the acceleration of the INEOS Grenadiers leader and is fifteen seconds ahead of the Belgian top talent in the standings.

"I can hardly believe what just happened," he exulted.

"I had already come a long way, but this pink jersey is worth everything. We were already two days trying to conquer the leader's jersey."

Egan Bernal took over the pink jersey from Attila Valter.

Egan Bernal took over the pink jersey from Attila Valter.

Photo: AFP

'My teammates believed in me more than myself'

Since his retirement in the Tour de France last year, Bernal has been hindered by a back injury.

Despite this, he rode a number of nice places of honor this year, but at the end of April his back suffered again and he decided not to participate in the Tour of the Alps.

Before the stage, Bernal was not very confident that he could win.

"My teammates believed in me more than I did. This victory is theirs. They believed in me. I've cried twice already."

The Giro continues on Monday 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.

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