Tour Colombia (st. 4)
Richard (14th), Winner and Nairo again in the mix in Medellín at frantic stage four in Colombia, prelude to the decisive mountains on Saturday and Sunday.
Bob Jungels (DQT) profited from chaos and lack of control by a dominant team on stage four of the Tour Colombia -144km over an eminently urban course in Medellín, more demanding than what the route profile first told- to take the day’s win and the GC lead with a ‘finisseur’ attack inside the last 1.5km, crowning a day where the Movistar Team again attempted to play a leading role.
As a six-man early break notably including Miguel Ángel López (AST) was caught following the bonus sprints, Arcas, Sepúlveda and Soler drove their team-mates to the front inside the final 15km and anticipated the moves by Richard Carapaz, Winner Anacona and Nairo Quintana. The three Latin American riders attacked hard inside a peloton of barely 60 riders, where ‘Richie’ eventually took 14th, two seconds behind the winner.
The four Blues -Richard, Winner and Nairo alongside Marc- now place inside the overall top-20 (48″ back) before the race starts to get decided on Saturday. A 177km loop around La Unión, a Cat-2 climb preceeded by the already known Alto Nano (Cat-3), will surely shake the GC up again.
Winner Anacona: “It was a very demanding stage – even if it looked flat on the profile, we had 1,200 meters of elevation gain. The pace was crazy again, the peloton split in the end and the legs ended up quite hurt – but that’s for everyone, not just us. Let’s hope we can recover well for tomorrow and take advantage from these decisive stages, tomorrow’s in La Unión and Sunday’s atop Las Palmas, to gain some terrain back and still aim for everything in this race.”
Gracias a @FicoGutierrez por venir a visitarnos tras la etapa de hoy viernes en el #TourColombia2019. Un placer correr estos días por la ciudad y por toda Antioquia. Aún nos quedan dos días para disfrutar. #JugamosDeLocal 🇨🇴 pic.twitter.com/qkNd0rAZ6i
— Movistar Team (@Movistar_Team) February 15, 2019
Richard Carapaz: “I think we did fairly well again today, and we hope to leave a good impression and help the team once again in the weekend. I feel like Winner and Nairo have an edge when it comes to GC aspirations, but it’s still three of us in place for a decent result, and we’ll try to take advantage from that. We still have a considerable gap ahead of us in the overall, we’re not as favourites as other teams, but we’re going to give it a good fight. These are demanding stages, ones where we can use our skills, so let’s see how the other teams move and if we can find a chance to excel.”
Nairo Quintana: “We’re fortunate enough to be still rather close, and even if López, Bernal, Urán and the others are strong and will attempt to take the reins of the group this weekend, we’re three, we can try different strategies, and anything can happen. It will be a ‘different’ weekend, where people might pay after all these efforts. The routes looked like flat, but ended up being grueling and that should take its toll. Let’s hope we can do well, together with Richard and Winner, and fight for a good GC result.”
Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto.net / Movistar Team