Safety first in Colombia sprint

07 Feb 2018

Safety first in Colombia sprint

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For the second day running Egan Bernal and Sergio Henao finished safely in the peloton as stage two came down to a bunch sprint at Colombia Oro y Paz.

Team Sky kept their powder dry ahead of more selective stages to come, sitting in the bunch as the sprinters’ teams controlled the 183.4-kilometre test.
 
Moving to the front during the final run-in ensured that Bernal (15th) and Henao (24th) were well positioned, with both men finishing on the same time as the stage victor.
 
A second stage finish in Palmira produced the same result, with Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) securing back to back victories to extend his lead in the event.
 
Courtesy of bonus seconds Henao and Bernal sit 23 seconds back on Gaviria, with the GC expected to change across an undulating final three days.
 
Six riders pushed clear following the first intermediate sprint, which saw Tao Geoghegan Hart covering the early moves to pick up a bonus second. As predicted it was all back together with 7km to go, with Gaviria proving unbeatable in the sprint. 
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David Lopez

David Lopez

It's a perfect race to start the year, especially with the weather and the people.
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After the stage David Lopez gave us the update on the opening pair of tests, and the team's main objective.

He told TeamSky.com: "The main goal for the first three flat stages is to try to not lose time and also not to crash. The race is a little bit tricky with quite a few smaller teams, and a lot of riders who want to show themselves. It can make for a nervous race so for us we tried to stay towards the front ahead of the sprints. We have made sure to take care of Sergio and also ensure no one crashes. 

"It's been really nice here. We had a feeling it would be special, as even in the European races we still see a lot of Colombian fans supporting the riders. So here you can imagine it has been really great, especially with big riders here like Nairo, Rigo and Sergio. It's great to see all the people lining the road and supporting the race."

Lopez also admitted he is enjoying his start to the season in South America, with another sprint stage on the cards on Thursday.

"Tomorrow the plan is the same for us," he added. "It's also the first race of the season so it's good training for everyone - no matter if you are riding for a sprinter or you have a rider for the GC. It's a perfect race to start the year, especially with the weather and the people. It's a really nice race."

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