Carapaz (3rd) fights on in demanding La Unión mountains

16 February 2019
Carapaz (3rd) fights on in demanding La Unión mountains

Tour Colombia (st. 5)

Ecuadorian climber from Movistar Team spends whole day into breakaway alongside Winner Anacona, contests stage win till end and jumps onto 6th overall, 55″ behind day’s victor Alaphilippe (DQT). Mountain showdown atop Las Palmas on Sunday.

Richard Carapaz and Winner Anacona (Movistar Team) made a tremendous effort to show the courage of the Movistar Team during the first of two mountain days in the 2019 Tour Colombia, stage five over 177km and five rated ascents before La Unión’s finish.

The Ecuadorian youngster and the Colombian veteran joined a crucial 15-man break, featuring the likes of Óscar Sevilla (MDE), Iván Sosa (SKY), Daniel Martínez (EF1) and eventual stage winner and race leader Julian Alaphilippe (DQT). The split, which built a 3’30” gap over the SKY-led peloton, was able to reach the finish with four of its members -Richard (3rd), Alaphilippe, Sosa and Martínez, as well as Miguel Ángel López (AST)- still holding a 42″ gap over the peloton, where Nairo Quintana (9th) remained with the other top contenders.

Carapaz during his breakaway. (c) BettiniPhoto.net / Movistar Team

To keep that significant gap alive, an additional effort from Anacona was needed. The ever-dependable Winner always took turns and kept an eye on the moves into the break during the final Cat-2 climb -Carapaz was able to reconnect with the main pursuit into the last 2km of the La Unión uphill-. Anacona would end up behind the main peloton at the finish, yet played a significant role in a stage full of strategy and alternatives, beautiful to watch even by the highest European standards.

Carapaz sits now in 6th spot overall, 55″ behind Alaphilippe -with Nairo in 13th spot, 1’41” down- in the eve of the Queen stage, the longest-awaited route in this year’s Tour Colombia. The Alto de las Palmas (15.5km at 6.3% avg.) will decide the outcome of an event where the Movistar Team continues to show its combative style.

Quintana on the attack during the final climb. (c) BettiniPhoto.net / Movistar Team

REACTIONS:

Richard Carapaz: “It was a very demanding stage, one where the efforts from the previous days took its toll. I think we were able to profit really well from the good field of riders inside the break – we opened a big gap, kept it alive and worked well before the last two climbs. Winner did a great job all day, and I tried to fight for the stage win, but it came off my hands at the very end. Still, I’m quite satisfied with this result considering how the GC stands. Also, responding this well to long efforts like today’s confirms my preparations are on the right track.”

Winner Anacona: “Such a tough stage, a long day in the escape – and I paid that effort with some bit of crisis in the end. I really cracked inside the last few kilometers, but the team’s result sort of pays me back for that. The team was great again today, always on the attack – Richard got some time back, and even though Alaphilippe has proven to be so strong, we’ve got a very decent chance to do well in the Palmas climb tomorrow, maybe the best terrain to attack and split the race in our favour. We’ll try to do our best.”

Anacona, Carapaz and Quintana on the trainers after stage five. (c) Prensa Telefónica Colombia

Nairo Quintana: “My legs felt well. We had Winner and Richard ahead into the break and that lifted some pressure off our shoulders, we didn’t have to work behind. In the end, Richard took 3rd, gained some terrain back and now we’re sitting in a quite decent position GC-wise. We’ll have to make the most of the Palmas climb. It’s a different climb to these previous ones, and maybe it suits us better.”

Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto.net / Movistar Team

Male Team 12 - 17 Feb

Tour Colombia

(5th Stage) La Unión - La Unión (176.8 km)
  1. 01 Julian Alaphilippe Deceuninck - Quick Step 4h16'44"
  2. 02 Miguel Ángel López Astana Pro Team "
  3. 03 Richard Carapaz Movistar Team "
  4. 09 Nairo Quintana Movistar Team +42"
  5. 24 Winner Anacona Movistar Team +1'26"
  6. 36 Marc Soler Movistar Team +8'43"
  7. 43 Jorge Arcas Movistar Team +16'20"
  8. 72 Eduardo Sepúlveda Movistar Team +20'31"
See prov general ranking
  1. 01 Julian Alaphilippe Deceuninck - Quick Step 14h40'46"
  2. 02 Daniel Martínez EF Education First +8"
  3. 03 Miguel Ángel López Astana Pro Team +23"
  4. 06 Richard Carapaz Movistar Team +55"
  5. 13 Nairo Quintana Movistar Team +1'41"
  6. 22 Winner Anacona Movistar Team +2'25"
  7. 36 Marc Soler Movistar Team +9'42"
  8. 68 Jorge Arcas Movistar Team +26'20"
  9. 101 Eduardo Sepúlveda Movistar Team +38'49"
See stage ranking