Sergio Higuita wrapped up the overall victory at the 2020 Tour Colombia, coming second on the final queen stage of the six-day race to finish atop the general classification.
The new Colombian national road race champion was beaten by EF Pro Cycling team-mate Daniel Martínez to the stage six victory, while Ineos’ Egan Bernal finished third.
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It was a top three on GC for EF Pro Cycling, with Martínez’s stage win moving him four seconds closer to Higuita, but still on the second step of the podium. Ecuador’s Jonathan Caicedo then took third, keeping out Egan Bernal who had to settle for fourth. The Tour de France champion finished 55 seconds behind Higuita due to Ineos losing time to EF Pro Cycling during the stage one team time trial.
Esteban Chaves also managed a top 10 GC finish, coming seventh and three minutes down as he raced for his national federation in their home stage race.
Team Medellin’s Robinson Chalapud had attacked on the penultimate Alto Patios climb and gone up the road, holding a 40-second advantage with 20km to go.
However, with Ineos looking to set things up for Egan Bernal and pulling hard on the front of the peloton, the gap came down to 10 seconds within a few kilometres.
Fantastic crowds adorned the summit finish climb of Alto Verjon, a category two ascent reaching an altitude of 3,290m, 11.5km in length with an average gradient of 5.4 per cent.
Chalapud was caught with 10km to go, as race leader Sergio Higuita started dropping back, having suffered a puncture. Luckily, Rigoberto Urán was on hand to help bring him back up to the peloton.
Richard Carapaz then had a mechanical, meaning Ineos left their duties at the front of the bunch, which was all the encouragement Chalapud needed to chance his arm once more.
The peloton was down to around 20 riders with 8km to go and not long after nine riders found themselves on the front. Higuita, Bernal, Martinez and Chaves were all present, as was Carapaz after he had got himself back in the mix.
Chalapud attacked again with 5km to go, and Miguel Eduardo Flórez (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec) soon followed. The pair briefly took the gap out slightly, as Higuita, Caicedo and Martínez all sat in Bernal’s wheel, the young Colombian working hard to bring the leaders back in with 2km to go.
Chalapud was soon caught and dropped, with Flórez trying to hold onto the group as Bernal upped the pace.
The five were together under the flamme rouge, although Caicedo was soon dispensed with. Daniel Martínez and Sergio Higuita proved to have the freshest legs of the remaining Colombian quartet, asMartínez crossed the line ahead of team-mate Higuita on the same time. Bernal followed three seconds later with Flórez fourth, nine seconds down.
Tour Colombia, stage six: Zipaquirá t0 El Once/Alto del Verjón (182.6km)
1. Daniel Martínez (Col) EF Pro Cycling, in 4-24-09
2. Sergio Higuita (Col) EF Pro Cycling, at same time
3. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos, at three seconds
4. Miguel Eduardo Flórez (Col) Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec, at 9s
5. Jonathan Caicedo (Ecu) EF Pro Cycling, at 14s
6. Robinson Chalapud (Col) Medellin, at 52s
7. Ricardo Hernán Aguirre (Col) Colombia Tierra de Atletas – GW Bicicletas, at 1-08
8. Diego Andres Camargo (Col) Colombia Tierra de Atletas – GW Bicicletas, at 1-16
9. Freddy Emir Montaña (Col) EPM – Scott, at same time
10. Torstein Træen (Nor) Uno-X Norwegian Development Team, at 1-29
Final general classification
1. Sergio Higuita (Col) EF Pro Cycling, in 19-55-50
2. Daniel Martínez (Col) EF Pro Cycling, at eight seconds
3. Jonathan Caicedo (Ecu) EF Pro Cycling, at 34s
4. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos, at 55s
5. Miguel Eduardo Flórez (Col) Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec, at 2-01
6. Freddy Emir Montaña (C0l) EPM – Scott, at 2-36
7. Esteban Chaves (Col) Colombia, at 3-09
8. Hernán Ricardo Aguirre (Col) Colombia Tierra de Atletas – GW Bicicletas, at 3-15
9. Torstein Træen (Nor) Uno-X Norwegian Development Team, at 3-19
10. Sergio Henao (Col) UAE Team Emirates, at 3-22