Battling Sosa up to fourth

16 Feb 2019

Battling Sosa up to fourth

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Tour Colombia stage five: La Union - La Union, 176.8k

Ivan Sosa moved up to fourth overall after a battling display in a stage-long breakaway on the penultimate stage of Tour Colombia. 

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceunick - Quick-Step) won the stage to move into the overall lead as Sosa finished fifth after being part of an elite group which escaped in the early stages of the 176km circuit in La Union which had an average altitude of 2000m, peaking at 2500m at the end.  
 
Sosa was part of a strong 17-man break containing several GC threats that gained a lead of close to three minutes and maintained that advantage until the final 20 kilometres.
The profile for stage five

The profile for stage five

Team Sky, with Chris Froome unfortunately missing from the chase group after being caught behind a earlier crash, took control of the pursuit with Sebastian Henao, Jhonatan Narvaez and Jonathan Castroviejo all working hard to bridge Egan Bernal to the Sosa group - in turn allowing Sosa not to work as hard as his fellow escapees. 

As the gap to the lead group dwindled, the attacks started as the rider entered the final 15 kilometres with Sosa joining forces with Alaphilippe to go clear, until the duo were pegged back by the remains of the break.

Undeterred, Sosa found his way back to the lead group and attacked again, with only Daniel Martinez (EF Education First)  able to respond. 

Meanwhile, in the chasing pack Bernal split the leaders’ group with a strong push which saw a reaction from the other GC contenders, but allowed Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)to bridge to the leaders and close in on Sosa and Martinez. 

This then setup a grandstand finale as Sosa and Martinez were caught by Carapaz, Lopez and Alaphilippe, with the Frenchman winning the downhill sprint to the line to take the race lead.
Reaction

- DS Nico Portal:

"On the last climb we had Ivan in the front and he was flying, and the plan was to allow Ivan to do his own GC, unless they were caught and then it would be full gas for Bernal. 

"He was with Alaphilippe and then Martinez and it came back together and then Alaphilippe won the sprint.

"Behind, Egan was racing with the GC guys like [Rigoberto] Uran and Nairo Quintana, the idea was to give them both the best possible chance ahead of tomorrow's GC day. 

"Everyone else was watching and marking Egan so he had to go full gas and that  allowed Lopez to attack and join the front group."
Rider of the day: Sosa’s fantastic stage-long break and repeated attacks in the closing kilometres ensured he takes this award, despite some excellent work from the rest of the team to position Bernal as well.   
Moment of the day: Sosa’s second kick to go clear of the elite group was particularly impressive, with only Martinez able to catch him to setup a grandstand finale. 
Stage five result
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) 4:16:44 
2. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) s.t.
3. Richard Carapaz (Movistar) s.t.
4. Daniel Martinez (EF Education First) s.t.
5. Ivan Sosa (Team Sky) +6"
10. Egan Bernal (Team Sky) +42"

Overall standings

1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) 14:40:46 
2. Daniel Martinez (EF Education First) +8"
3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) +23"
4. Ivan Sosa (Team Sky) +29"
5. Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-Quick Step) +53"
9. Egan Bernal (Team Sky) +1'05"
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