Bernal attacked on the Daggett Summit climb, 10 kilometres from the finish after Tao Geoghegan Hart had tested the waters with an attack of his own which race leader Tejay Van Garderen had to react to.
Once the BMC Racing rider had pulled Geoghegan Hart back, Bernal attacked and created a gap which continued to slowly rise as the kilometres moved on.
And while Bernal continued to push on, Geoghegan Hart stayed with the other GC contenders and disrupted their efforts at mounting a significant challenge to the Colombian, which eventually allowed more of the reduced peloton to join the back of the chasing group ahead of the final category three climb.
Again, this larger group did not cooperate with each other and started to splinter, with Geoghegan Hart following lead pursuer Adam Yates to the finish, sealing third as Bernal finished 1’28” ahead of the Mitchelton-Scott rider.
The result now means Bernal has a 1’25” lead over Van Garderen with one stage remaining and the 21 year old dedicated the win to his teammates.
“I attacked on the last last long climb, when there was still 10km to go and a long flat section, so in that part I was just thinking about how to push very hard and do my best as the team had worked hard today
“But it was when I started the last climb, with 1.5km to go and then in the final 100m that I knew I could win the race.”