For the second year in a row, our team concluded the TTT on the podium.
Julian Alaphilippe, Alvaro Hodeg, Mikkel Honoré, Bob Jungels, Jannik Steimle and Bert Van Lerberghe were the six riders to roll down the start ramp Tuesday afternoon, when the third edition of Tour Colombia got underway with a 16.7km team time trial in Tunja, some 130 kilometers northeast of the country’s capital, Bogota.
Second on this stage last year, our riders were keen on improving that result and had a strong start, but on the only climb on the course, the team split and two guys were briefly distanced before rejoining their teammates. Going through the intermediate checkpoint, the Wolfpack posted the fastest provisional time (12:15), before upping the tempo in the closing kilometers and averaging over 53km/h by the time they finished, which helped our squad move into the hot seat with a result of 18:46. Eventually, that time was improved by EF Education First, who took the victory and gave the race’s first leader, Jonathan Caicedo.
“We were very motivated and managed to put in a solid ride as soon as we left the start house, but unfortunately, due to the huge noise, the boys couldn’t hear the radio and a gap of around 25 meters opened. We lost some important seconds there, but even without this incident we wouldn’t have been at the top of the classification, as another team was faster than us today. Onwards and upwards from here”, said sports director Wilfried Peeters after Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s 14th podium of the season.
Photo credit: ©Maximiliano Blanco / Getty Images