Higuita wins Colombian national title as Bernal crashes and finishes second
The 2019 Tour de France winner crashed, chased back onto the lead group and sprinted to second place, ahead of Daniel Martinez.
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Tunja, Colombia, February 2, 2020 – Sergio Higuita (Education First) held off the 2019 Tour de France overall winner, Egan Bernal (Ineos), for a win at Sunday’s Colombian road national championships.
Higuita, 22, won solo, after a crash involving Ivan Sosa, and Egan Bernal. Bernal managed a sprint for second, ahead of Daniel Martinez, the national champion against the clock.
Bernal, who finished in third at the time trial last Thursday, went down on a sweeping turn, but managed to chase back to the lead group. His shorts were visibly torn, and he also appeared to have road rash on his left arm, and back.
This was Bernal’s best result racing his national championships (abandoned in 2018, 25th in 2019). “It’s painful but I should be happy because it is only skin.”
“I have no fractures or anything like that,” said Bernal, after the finish.
“In the end, I did not feel great because of the fall, but I could manage a second place,” added the Ineos rider.
The podium had a very low average age, with Bernal and Martinez both 23 years old, and Higuita, the youngest, at just 22 years.
Nairo Quintana, finishing second in the time trial, was fourth in the road race.
“I gave everything, I have no regrets. I take positive lessons of the two days of racing. My condition is good. I’ve plans now to the start of the season in France, [and race] the Tour of Provence,” said Quintana.