Higuita wins stage 4 to take Tour Colombia lead

Sergio Higuita beat Tour de France champion Egan Bernal into second on Friday to claim victory on the fourth stage of the Tour Colombia and move into the overall lead.

The Colombian national road race champion timed his attack to perfection on the third category climb to the finish of the 169km stage from Paipa to Santa Rosa de Viterbo, with Bernal settling for second and Julian Alaphilippe third.

On the back of two successive sprint stages, Friday’s finishing climb gave the overall contenders a chance to shine but also pitted pure climbers like Higuita against puncheurs like Alaphilippe in a thrilling battle.

Bernal’s Ineos team took up the pace leading into the final climb and on its lower slopes as he and Giro d’Italia champion Richard Carapaz looked to gain back some of the 46 seconds they lost to Higuita’s EF Pro Cycling squad on Tuesday’s opening team time-trial.

“We tried to make the race hard, we worked a lot,” said Bernal.

As the leading group quickly dwindled on the climb, Martinez hit the deck in a moment of inattention with 4km to ride, although he rapidly caught the leaders.

Carapaz launched hostilities two kilometres from the line and built up a sizeable advantage.

Alaphilippe closed the gap and went past the Ecuadoran but with a few hundred metres left he ran out of steam, allowing Higuita to surge past.

Bernal had been on Higuita’s wheel but simply didn’t have the legs to haul him in and his Colombian compatriot even had time to sit up and celebrate his victory as he crossed the line.

Higuita started the day second, but on the same time as team-mates Daniel Martinez and overnight leader Jonathan Caicedo.

He now leads by 13sec to Martinez and 16sec to Caicedo with Bernal fourth at 50sec.

“We have a really strong team, today the team controlled the race perfectly,” said Higuita.

Tour Colombia 2020 – stage 4 results (Paipa – Santa Rosa de Viterbo):

1Sergio Higuita (EF Pro Cycling)

3:58:47

2Egan Bernal (Team Ineos)

,,

3Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)

+01”

4Daniel Martinez (EF Pro Cycling)

+02”

5Torstein Træen (Uno-X)

,,

6Richard Carapaz (Team Ineos)

,,

7Miguel Florez (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec)

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8Jonathan Caicedo (EF Pro Cycling)

+04”

9Esteban Chaves Rubio (Colombia-Andina)

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10Freddy Montaña (EPM-Scott)

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Tour Colombia 2020 – general classification after stage 4:

1Sergio Higuita (EF Pro Cycling)

11:25:47

2Daniel Martinez (EF Pro Cycling)

+12”

3Jonathan Caicedo (EF Pro Cycling)

+14”

4Egan Bernal (Team Ineos)

+50”

5Richard Carapaz (Team Ineos)

+58”

6Freddy Montaña (EPM-Scott)

+01’14’

7Aldemar Reyes Ortega (EPM-Scott)

+01’28”

8Gavin Mannion (Rally)

+01’30”

9Sergio Henao (UAE Team Emirates)

+01’31”

10Diego Ochoa Camargo (EPM-Scott)

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