Tour Colombia Stage 4: Sergio Higuita bests Bernal
EF Pro Cycling retains overall advantage, with the lead moving from Jonathan Caicedo to Higuita.
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Launching a well-timed attack, Sergio Higuita (EF Pro Cycling) came around Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) for a hotly-contested stage 5 win.
Higuita said he “…sprinted with my heart to the end”. “We have a really strong team, today the team controlled the race perfectly.”
This advances the Colombian national champion Higuita into the Tour Colombia 2.1 leader’s jersey, moving it from the shoulders of teammate Jonathan Caicedo (EF Pro Cycling).
Stage 5 traversed some familiar roads to the Alto del Moral, and Alto Tierra Negra, both of which were included in stage 3 and stage 4.
A six-man break had established itself, and gained nearly two and a half minutes by the 110km mark, which they maintained until 40km to go.
The advantage gained by the break was erased over the next 30km, when Quick-Step and EF Pro Cycling drove the front of the chase, assisted by Team INEOS.
At the base of the final 10km climb to the finish, Team INEOS took to the front, going all-in for Egan Bernal.
But the EF Pro Cycling squad was never far behind INEOS.
With less than 3km to go, Daniel Martinez (EF Pro Cycling) inexplicably hit the deck, after momentarily turning around to have a discussion with race-leader Caicedo.
Caicedo was also delayed when Martinez went down.
This caused some confusion in the lead group, which did not immediately respond to an attack from 2019 Giro d’Italia winner Richard Carapaz (Team INEOS).
Seeing this was a dangerous move, French favorite Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck–Quick-Step) bridged up to Carapaz, taking Egan Bernal with him.
But a patient Sergio Higuita, who had been on Bernal’s wheel, timed a countermove perfectly at 200m to go.
“If we have a man we are going to try something, to make the race exciting. We are running in Colombia, it runs differently and we are testing how it runs here, so that people also enjoy that, see us also attacking the leaders and not just to be on the wheel,” said the 2019 Tour de France champion.
Martinez was able to collect himself, and ride back into fourth position for the stage, and maintains third place on the G.C.
The fifth stage of Tour Colombia, Saturday, takes riders over 180km of rolling terrain, with the last third of the stage relatively flat. Expect this stage to be concluded by another bunch sprint, concluding near Egan Bernal’s home town.
Stage 4 Results
1. Sergio Higuita (EF Pro Cycling) at 3:58:47
2. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS): at S.T.
3. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck–Quick-Step): at S.T.
1. Sergio Higuita (EF Pro Cycling): 11:25:47
2. Jonathan Caicedo (EF Pro Cycling): at :10
3. Daniel Martinez (EF Pro Cycling): at S.T.