Dayer Quintana (Movistar) won the sixth and final stage of the inaugural Colombia Oro y Paz, as Sky’s Egan Bernal took the overall victory in Manizales on Sunday. Bernal finished second on the stage to secure the overall victory, as Nairo Quintana (Movistar), who started the day leading the general classification, finished the stage 11 seconds behind Bernal. Thus, he ended the race second overall. EF Education First-Drapac’s Rigoberto Uran rounded out the final GC podium.
The final three kilometers of the finishing climb to the Chipre Tower in Manizales were full of fireworks. The top four on the general classification were separated by a mere nine seconds. Bernal, who was fourth overall at nine seconds behind race leader Nairo Quintana, attacked just past the three-kilometer to go mark. Daniel Martinez (EF Education First-Drapac) marked Bernal.
Rodrigo Contreras (EPM) was leading the stage, but his gap to the others was shrinking quickly inside the final kilometers. He had been part of the day’s breakaway and attacked at the bottom of the final climb. Riding nearly the entirety of the 19-kilometer climb to the finish alone was beginning to take its toll on Conteras’ legs.
Inside the final kilometer, Dayer Quintana came on strong as Bernal and company closed in. Contreras was within touching distance of taking the stage win, but Dayer passed him with less than 300 meters to go to take the victory. Henao powered through the final 100 meters to lead Bernal to the line and allowed him to take second place and get precious bonus seconds.
“Our plan was to get into all big breaks, and we succeeded when [Antonio] Pedrero and I joined that 30-rider group,” Dayer Quintana said after the stage. “The dangerous riders on the GC weren’t that really close, but we knew we had to keep an eye on [Oscar] Sevilla and Sebastián Henao specifically in case they wanted to try a move. At the final kilometers, Pedrero was asked by the team to drop back and help Nairo out in the bunch.
“My task was remaining at the front and wait for my brother, but at the latter part of the stage there was no radio communication available, and I didn’t know what to do. I was so close to dropping back myself to wait for Nairo, but I didn’t get a response and continued following the wheel of Sevilla and Henao, who helped me approach Contreras. At the end, I sprinted with everything I had to win the stage because we had to take something out of the day. My daughter is turning one year old tomorrow, so there’s no better way to celebrate than offering her this present!”
In the end, Bernal would not need the bonus seconds he got by finishing second on the stage. Uran, who started the final stage three seconds behind Nairo Quintana, sprinted hard to the line, but was unable to create a gap to the Movistar rider. Uran finished the stage in seventh place with Nairo Quintana right behind him in eighth.
The final overall standings will see Bernal on top by nine seconds over Nairo Quintana. Uran finished third overall at 11 seconds with Sky’s Sergio Henao fourth at 13 seconds. Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe was one of two riders not from the host nation in the top 10. He finished seventh overall at 48 seconds. Alaphilippe won the fourth stage of the race and held the overall leader’s jersey for a day.
“I felt very good all day long and I kept telling the guys: ‘I feel good, I feel good!’ but I had to keep calm and wait for the tougher last kilometers,” Bernal said. “The last three or four kilometers were tougher and I decided to attack. I was fourth on GC so I didn’t have a lot to lose but I had everything to gain. I tried, I gave everything and finally, I got a little advantage. I had two teammates in the break and they did an amazing job! I was telling Tao: ‘Tao, Tao, it’s so hard, you have to slow down!’ He helped me almost until the last meters.
“The most important thing was to win the GC and not the stage. Of course, it would have been better to win both but the idea was to win the GC. So, my teammates waited for my attack. That’s why I feel so proud and happy with this team. They supported me and did incredible work.”
The final stage had started in Armenia and traveled 184.3 kilometers to the finish in Manizales. The riders tackled three cat. 3 climbs in the final 80 kilometers of the stage, including the long climb to the finish line.
Top 10, stage 6
- 1. Dayer Quintana, (COL) MOVISTAR TEAM, in 04:22:11
- 2. Egan Arley Bernal Gomez, (COL) TEAM SKY, at 0:10
- 3. Sebastian Henao Gomez, (COL) TEAM SKY, at 0:10
- 4. Angel Alexander Gil Sanchez, (COL) EPM, at 0:14
- 5. Daniel Felipe Martinez Poveda, (COL) TEAM EF EDUCATION FIRST – DRAPAC P/B CANNONDALE, at 0:18
- 6. Oscar Miguel Sevilla Rivera, (ESP) MEDELLIN, at 0:18
- 7. Rigoberto Uran, (COL) TEAM EF EDUCATION FIRST – DRAPAC P/B CANNONDALE, at 0:21
- 8. Nairo Quintana, (COL) MOVISTAR TEAM, at 0:21
- 9. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya, (COL) TEAM SKY, at 0:21
- 10. Julian Alaphilippe, (FRA) QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 0:24
Top-10 Final GC
- 1. Egan Arley Bernal Gomez, (COL) TEAM SKY, in 20:49:03
- 2. Nairo Quintana, (COL) MOVISTAR TEAM, at 0:08
- 3. Rigoberto Uran, (COL) TEAM EF EDUCATION FIRST – DRAPAC P/B CANNONDALE, at 0:11
- 4. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya, (COL) TEAM SKY, at 0:12
- 5. Daniel Felipe Martinez Poveda, (COL) TEAM EF EDUCATION FIRST – DRAPAC P/B CANNONDALE, at 0:43
- 6. Ivan Ramiro Sosa Cuervo, (COL) ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI – SIDERMEC, at 0:45
- 7. Julian Alaphilippe, (FRA) QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 0:50
- 8. Aristobulo Cala Cala, (COL) BICICLETAS STRONGMAN COLOMBIA COLDEPORTES, at 1:10
- 9. Dany Alberto Osorio Calle, (COL) EQUIPO CONTINENTAL ORGULLO PAISA, at 1:12
- 10. Jhonnatan Narvaez, (ECU) QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 1:18