Julian Alaphilippe savoured his third victory of the year at the end of the hardest Tour Colombia stage so far, which took the riders over a mountainous 177.2km-long course around La Union, packing five classified climbs, more than 2 000 vertical meters and a finish at 2 519 meters.
The day started with Bob Jungels in the orange jersey, which the Luxembourger donned after powering to a solo win on the previous stage, and continued with his French teammate booking a place in a strong breakaway group which contained several riders that posed a serious threat to the general classification.
After the first intermediate sprint the leaders nudged out their advantage to three minutes, and even though the fierce tempo of the peloton eroded it to a minute by the time the escapees entered on the final lap, they victory played between those at the front.
Before the road went up one more time and the riders faced again the 5% average gradient of the 7.4km-long Alto La Union, Alaphilippe accelerated off the front together with Ivan Sosa (Team Sky) and built a ten-second gap over what was left of the escapees’ group. On the toughest segment of the climb, the Colombian got out of the saddle and gained several bike lengths, while an attack from behind saw Daniel Martinez (EF Education First) join him.
Alaphilippe didn’t panic and rode his own pace, always dangling around 15 seconds behind the newly-formed duo. Together with Richard Carapaz (Movistar) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana), the Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider began to make up ground on the fast descent and came back to the duo inside the last kilometer. Despite leading out the sprint, Alaphilippe remained cool as a cucumber and expertly navigated through the final corners, before kicking out with 200 meters to go, on a short uphill drag.
“I am very happy! Coming here, my goal was to win a stage and I am delighted I could bring another one for the team after those of Alvaro and Bob. It was a very hard day, but we knew it was going to be like this, so that’s why I jumped in the breakaway, where we rode full gas despite many having tired legs after what has been a tough week of racing here”, Alaphilippe said.
Tour Colombia 2019 – stage 5 results (La Union – La Union):
|1||Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)||4:16:44|
|2||Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)||,,|
|3||Richard Carapaz (Movistar)||,,|
|4||Daniel Martinez (EF Education First)||,,|
|5||Ivan Sosa (Team Sky)||+06”|
|6||Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-QuickStep)||+42”|
|7||Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First)||,,|
|8||Alejandro Osorio (Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane)||,,|
|9||Nairo Quintana (Movistar)||,,|
|10||Egan Bernal (Team Sky)||,,|
Tour Colombia 2019 – general classification after stage 5:
|1||Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)||14:40:46|
|2||Daniel Martinez (EF Education First)||+08”|
|3||Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)||+23”|
|4||Ivan Sosa (Team Sky)||+29”|
|5||Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)||+53”|
|6||Richard Carapaz (Movistar)||+55”|
|7||Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First)||+57”|
|8||Lawson Craddock (EF Education First)||,,|
|9||Egan Bernal (Team Sky)||+01’05”|
|10||Oscar Sevilla (Medellin)||+01’27”|