The Tour Colombia 2020 ends as it began, with Education First occupying the podium positions (Higuita, Marínez, Caicedo) and the Ineos of Egan Bernal as the propitiatory victim. His hole was dug in that time trial by teams on Tuesday, which left a very strong team like Juanma Garate with the best cards to play this six-day game. They extracted 47 seconds of advantage in 16.7 kilometers. The bonuses for the victories of Sergio Higuita on Friday and that of Daniel Felipe Martínez on Sunday - winner of the last stage in El Verjón, at 3,290 meters above sea level in front of Higuita and the first leader of this edition, the Ecuadorian Jonathan Caicedo- , the differences increased a few more seconds.
Long live Sergio HIguita, the often young boy raised in the conflictive Castilla de Medellín commune, a lover of cycling that gives cycling a renewed air, a joyful way of understanding it . His brilliant appearance since last year he pulverized a six-month probationary period at the Euskadi Foundation and left him in three to join the Education First increased in effervescence this week with a stage win, face to face with Julian Alaphilippe and Bernal , in Santa Rosa de Viterbo . The second meteorite that falls in the picturesque town of Boyacense, two centuries after the first, part of which is exhibited in the National Museum of Colombia, here in Bogotá. On Sunday, with his orange leader jersey, he barely had to show his face. At the wheel of the Ineos, he watched and only jumped to accompany Dani Martínez, who won the trio of victories for Education.
Long live Egan Bernal, who was left until the penultimate breath at the closing stage of Tour Colombia on the irregular climb to El Verjón, a natural monument to hypoxia , to oxygen debt. The last one we hope will be within a century, at least, to be able to enjoy, first of all the cycling that he treasures and, after his mood and balance. Although some of us are gone. In the last stage he was unable to release the three of the EF, but even knowing the impossibility of the effort, he remained at the head of the group that led them to give the fans what he thinks he asks: sacrifice, effort . In the last 200 meters, Dani, Sergio and Jonathan surpassed him. It was written; fourth in the stage and the same place in the final general.
If we make a super reduced summary of Tour Colombia we can establish a parallel between the struggles of the sprint and those of the two stages in which the sprinters did not appear. Three for the boyacense sprinter Juan Sebastián Molano , of the UAE - well supported, but with a sweeping force in the final 200 meters - and three for the Education First choir. In both triple conquests they found opposition.
The sprinter tried to stop the Deceuninck Quick Step by Julian Alaphilippe , who returns to Europe without his long-awaited beginning of the victorious year in America, and the Colombian ambassador Álvaro Hodeg . They tried to overcome Molano in several ways: with the train in the second stage, with very long throws in the third and releasing both Alaphilippe and Bob Jungels in the last kilometer of the fourth. Water. Molano always responded, very superior and with an almost infallible protector: Max Richeze.
The Ineos also tried to undermine the power of HIguita and its Education with the libretto of 'How to win the Tour de France' that has given such success (since 2012 with the Sky designation) to the British team. They had two opportunities: Santa Rosa de Virtebo and this Sunday in El Verjón. In both stages the garnet row of the Ineos appeared breaking the weakest of the peloton at the decisive moment. And in both it was Richard Carapaz who sacrificed his main positions for a job for Bernal. Without in the fourth stage he dragged alone taking advantage of the stop that culminated 2.9 kilometers from the end of Santa Rosa, in the sixth stage of Sunday he emptied to leave the Education First, much more solid, even with Rigo Urán in the Last part of the race. And, as in the previous case, identical result: water.
Long live also Richard Carapaz with new team and reinforced illusions to consider the reissue of the victory he achieved in 2019 at the Giro d'Italia with the Movistar Team shirt . The Ecuadorian surrendered butt and his work for Bernal in El Verjón multiplied the wear due to a puncture just at the beginning of the port , a kilometer and a half to recover the head of the race with the bike of his partner Brandon Rivera .
Long live the Tour Colombia. Sergio Higuita is the third winner of this race of global interest that was born in Colombia in 2018 as a promotional appendix to the pact policies with the guerrillas of the then president, Juan Manuel Santos. That is why it was called Gold and Peace. Then Egan Bernal prevailed after two memorable days: in Salento , with a sprint on the slope of four cracks ( Urán, Nairo, Bernal and Sergio Henao ) and the next day in Manizales , where Nario lost the final triumph after Egan's maneuver with Sebastian Henao Last year, Miguel Ángel 'Supermán' López took over with a grand climb to the high plateau in Las Palmas .
In the three editions there has been no lack of public passion or the delivery of the authorities of each region ( Cali-Eje Cafetero, Antioquia and Boyacá-Cundinamarca ) or the enthusiasm of those who raise the infrastructure required for an international test every day even with few means. Colombian cycling needs this test, but also the world sport to help it grow. Cycling is very positively activating the cohesion of this huge country martyred for decades of wars, guerrillas and urban violence.
In addition, it is of historical justice: for so many years Colombians had to travel to Europe to compete, it was time for a competition open to large teams here in Colombia. It is true that at these altitudes a condiment that enhances competitiveness may be lacking: that there are Europeans or runners from other continents capable of competing here against those accustomed to breathing at 3,000 meters above sea level and not just a fight between Colombians, with the contribution, notable this year, of the Ecuadorian province of Carchi.
Next year they wanted to set up the test in the Caribbean coast of Cartagena, but it is still unclear which option will be chosen. Federative sources told this journalist that he will probably return to Antioquia in 2021 , as the year passed. Wherever it is celebrated, the party must continue.
TOUR COLOMBIA 2020. 6th STAGE
1 Daniel Martínez (EF Education First) 4h24'09 "
2 Sergio Higuita (EF Education First (mt)
3 Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) to 3
4 Miguel Flórez (Androni Giocattoli) to 9
5 Jonathan Caicedo (EF Education First) to 14
6 Robinson Chalapud (Team Medellín) at 52
7 Hernán Aguirre (Colombia Tierra de Athletes GW) at 1'08 "
8 Diego Camargo (Colombia Tierra de Athletes GW) at 1'16 "
9 Fredy Mountain (EPM Scott) mt
10 Esteban Chaves (Andean Colombia Team) 1'16 "
1 Sergio Higuita (EF Education First) 19h55'50 "
2 Daniel Martínez (EF Education First) to 8
3 Jonathan Caicedo (EF Education First) to 34
4 Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) at 55
5 Miguel Flórez (Androni Giocattoli) at 2'01 "
6 Fredy Mountain (EPM Scott) at 2'36 "
7 Esteban Chaves (Andean Colombia Team) at 3'09 "
8 Hernán Aguirre (Colombia Tierra de Athletes GW) at 3'15 "
9 Torstein Bring (One X Norwegian) to 3'19 "
10 Sergio Henao (UAE Team Emirates) at 3'22 "
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