Bernal and Henao enliven stage five showdown

10 Feb 2018

Bernal and Henao enliven stage five showdown

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Egan Bernal and Sergio Henao came home third and fourth to solidify their general classification challenge following a thrilling finale to stage five at Colombia Oro y Paz.

The duo were part of an elite Colombian quartet that broke clear on the punchy slopes of the final third-category uphill finish in Salento.
 
With the Team Sky riders taking it in turns to attack, it was Bernal who ultimately drove the pace heading into the final metres. Neither rider was able to stop the final surge which saw Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac) take a narrow victory ahead of Nairo Quintana (Movistar).
 
Bernal and Henao followed just behind, with bonus seconds elevating Quintana into a three-second race lead over Uran, with Henao a single second further back with one day to go. Bernal sits fourth, just nine seconds off the lead while retaining his advantage in the young rider classification.
 
Huge crowds created an incredible atmosphere at the finish following 163.7 kilometres. Team Sky helped keep the day’s 12-man breakaway in check through David Lopez and Tao Geoghegan Hart.
 
When the final climb began it was Geoghegan Hart who took it up, before Bernal took over as the GC group, including overnight leader Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors), fractured behind.
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Tao Geoghegan Hart

Tao Geoghegan Hart

It's all still to play for tomorrow and it's incredibly tight.
After the stage Geoghegan Hart talked us through the day and the experience of racing in Colombia.

He told TeamSky.com: "We've got a really strong team here. Every day we've got guys who can do all the jobs, which leaves it open to see who is feeling best each day and rotating. It's always tough to know how everyone is early-season. 

"The stage went exactly how we wanted until the last couple of hundred metres. But that's out of the guy's hands really - a sprint is a sprint. It's all still to play for tomorrow and it's incredibly tight.

"Hopefully at the end of three pretty tough days it will split it up a bit more tomorrow and hopefully suit our guys. It's been an amazing experience so far and I think everyone's had a great time. It's been a wicked way to start the season and hopefully we can end it on a high."

Geoghegan Hart also heaped praise on the Colombian fans and the passion they have shown during the race.

He added: "It's unbelievable. I had high expectations but it's definitely blown those out of the water. Even before the climb today with about 25km to go we went through a village, and the amount of people on the side of the road was absolutely unbelievable. I've never seen anything like it! It's been an incredible experience.

"To see how rich the cycling culture is here, and to see how popular guys like Sergio, Egan, Rigo and Nairo are - it's incredible. It's been a great week for them, and for the fans with so much Colombian success."
Stage five result:

1. Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac) 3:42:33
2. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) s.t.
3. Egan Bernal (Team Sky)
4. Sergio Henao (Team Sky)

5. Ivan Sosa (Androni-Sidermec) +17”

Overall standings:

1. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 16:26:39
2. Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac) +3”
3. Sergio Henao (Team Sky) +4”
4. Egan Bernal (Team Sky) +9”
5. Ivan Sosa (Androni-Sidermec) +30”

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