ALPE DI MERA, Italy (AP) — British cyclist Simon Yates attacked on the steep ascent to the finish to win the 19th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Friday and made only a dent on Egan Bernal’s overall lead with two days remaining.
Yates attacked with more than six kilometers (four miles) to go and held off the field on the double-digit gradient to the Alpe di Mera finish.
João Almeida was second at the end of the 166-kilometer (103-mile) leg from Abbiategrasso, 11 seconds behind Yates. Bernal decided not to respond to Yates and merely to manage the gap; the Colombian finished third, 28 seconds behind.
Yates remained third overall, 2 minutes, 49 seconds behind Bernal, who actually increased his lead slightly over second-placed Damiano Caruso to 2:29.
The stage was modified to bypass the top-category climb of the Mottarone after a cable car disaster there killed 14 people on Sunday. The new, slightly shorter route nevertheless featured three categorized climbs — including a top-classed one to the finish.
The riders unanimously decided to donate all of the prize money from the stage to the sole survivor, five-year-old Eitan Biran, and the families of the victims.
The penultimate stage on Saturday has been given the maximum difficulty rating of five stars. The 164-kilometer (102-mile) route from Verbania to Valle Spluga-Alpe Motta includes more than 4,200 meters of vertical gain and three top-category climbs including the final ascent to another summit finish.
The Giro finishes on Sunday in Milan with an individual time trial.
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