Tour Colombia 2.1
Stage 5) Paipa – Zipaquirá
Hodeg second in tightly-fought sprint
Alvaro Hodeg came agonisingly close to finally breaking the ice and taking what would have been a well-deserved first victory this season, on the penultimate stage of the Tour Colombia, which finished in Zipaquira, where the riders were given an amazing welcome by the large and boisterous crowds.
Going into the closing kilometers of Saturday’s 180.5km-long leg, the Wolfpack were again at the head of the affairs, but this time decided to change the register and launch a double-pronged attack featuring stage winners Julian Alaphilippe and Bob Jungels, who clipped away and spread panic through the peloton.
This perfectly-executed attack, despite being neutralized with less than one kilometer to go, forced the other teams to burn their lead-out men early in order to bring back the cunning Deceuninck – Quick-Step duo. Only Alvaro Hodeg had his last man with him, Bert Van Lerberghe, who charged forward to the front of the group with the Colombian in his wheel. 150 meters from home, Alvaro opened up the gallop and kept pushing all the way to the line, but sadly he was just pipped by Juan Sebastian Molano (Team UAE Emirates) and concluded runner-up for his fifth podium of the season.
Luxembourg Champion Bob Jungels remained the best-placed Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider in the general classification of the Tour Colombia (18th). The third edition of South America’s biggest race will draw the curtain Sunday with the queen stage that will take the riders atop Alto Verjon (18.1 kilometers, 4.2%), at an altitude of over 3200 meters.
Photo credit: ©Maximiliano Blanco / Getty Images