Tour Colombia (st. 3)
Carapaz -9th into selected field’s sprint; active early on-, Anacona, Soler show courage with plenty of accelerations inside final 20km of stage three in Colombia; Molano (UAD) succeeds as Urán (EF1) takes lead back.
The time loss suffered on Wednesday’s opener of the 2019 Tour Colombia has propelled the Movistar Team to take advantage from any opportunity available to take to the front and bridge gaps back during stage three on Thursday, a hilly, four-lap loop around the Alto Nano (Cat-3) in Llanogrande.
As the early, six-man break was caught before the final ascent, the Telefónica-backed squad shook the race up – mostly with Richard Carapaz, who attacked into the first lap alongside Sosa (SKY) and López (AST); jumped off the front for half a dozen times; and even had some energy left to sneak into the reduced field’s sprint, taking 9th behind winner Sebastián Molano (UAD). Also seeking for good luck, ahead of a disorganized peloton, were Winner Anacona and Marc Soler, the latter saving all of his energies for a late acceleration, 2km from the end, also caught by the main field.
The three Blues, together with Nairo Quintana, finished into a group of about 40 riders where race leader Álvaro Hodeg (DQT) did not feature. That takes Rigoberto Urán (EF1) back to the lead achieved on Tuesday, before another flat finish in Medellín (144km) on Friday preceeds the weekend’s decisive mountains.
REACTION / Richard Carapaz:
“It was a pretty tough stage, a really fast-paced one. Our team was very active and I think we featured prominently and followed what we had planned in the morning. Our plan was to get into the main moves and my team-mates and me worked hard to make things difficult for the rest. I think we had a good role in making the race hard and that should play in our favour in the remainder of the race. Tomorrow’s circuit should again be hard, but our task might be more like ‘wait and see’, because the time and place where we can really make the difference is the weekend, into the mountains.”
Cover picture (c): Dario Belingheri / BettiniPhoto.net