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Fortunato wins atop Zoncolan, Bernal extends Giro lead

Italian rider Lorenzo Fortunato soloed to victory atop the fearsome Monte Zoncolan as Egan Bernal extended his overall lead to more than a minute after the 14th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Saturday.

Fortunato, who rides for Eolo-Kometa, attacked with around 2 kilometers remaining of the 205-kilometer (127-mile) route from Cittadella to claim a debut professional win in his first Grand Tour, at the top of one of the Giro’s most prestigious climbs.

It was Fortunato’s first victory in more than eight years, having last won as a junior.

Italy's Lorenzo Fortunato crosses the finish line to win the 14th stage of the Giro D'Italia tour of Italy cycling race, from Cittadella to Monte Zoncolan, Italy, Saturday, May 22, 2021. (Gian Mattia D'AlbertoLaPresse via AP)

Jan Tratnik was second, 26 seconds behind Fortunato. The duo had escaped from the remains of the breakaway shortly after the start of the ascent of the Zoncolan, which was covered in snow.

Alessandro Covi was third, 59 seconds behind Fortunato.

Bernal attacked from the peloton in the fog at the summit and finished fourth to extend his overall lead to 1 minute, 33 seconds ahead of Simon Yates, who moved into second.

Italy's Lorenzo Fortunato, left, and Slovenia's Jan Tratnik pedal during the 14th stage of the Giro D'Italia tour of Italy cycling race, from Cittadella to Monte Zoncolan, Italy, Saturday, May 22, 2021. (Fabio FerrariLaPresse via AP)

Bernal, the 2019 Tour de France winner, is 1:51 ahead of third-place Damiano Caruso

This year’s Giro saw the riders climb the Zoncolan from the easier side. It was still nevertheless one of the most arduous ascents of the race. The last 3 kilometers had gradients often exceeding 20% and topping out at 27% along the hairpins in the final kilometer.

The Giro finishes on May 30 in Milan with an individual time trial.

Egan Bernal crosses the finish line to complete the 14th stage of the Giro D'Italia tour of Italy cycling race, from Cittadella to Monte Zoncolan, Italy, Saturday, May 22, 2021. (Massimo PaoloneLaPresse via AP)

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Cyclists pedal during the 14th stage of the Giro D'Italia tour of Italy cycling race, from Cittadella to Monte Zoncolan, Italy, Saturday, May 22, 2021. (Fabio FerrariLaPresse via AP)

Egan Bernal pedals during the 14th stage of the Giro D'Italia tour of Italy cycling race, from Cittadella to Monte Zoncolan, Italy, Saturday, May 22, 2021. (Fabio FerrariLaPresse via AP)

Colombia's Egan Bernal, 2nd left, wearing the pink jersey of the overall leader, pedals during the 14th stage of the Giro D'Italia tour of Italy cycling race, from Cittadella to Monte Zoncolan, Italy, Saturday, May 22, 2021. (Fabio FerrariLaPresse via AP)