Luxembourg’s Bob Jungels broke the locals’ hegemony on the Tour Colombia on Friday, securing the overall lead after winning the 144 kilometer fourth stage around Medellin.
The 26-year-old Deceuninck-Quick Step rider simply rode away from a reduced peloton in the final kilometer to win by two seconds ahead of Estonia’s Mihkel Raim and Julian Alaphilippe of France.
“With a group of almost only climbers I always had a chance in a final like this,” said Jungels.
He became the first foreigner both to win a stage at this year’s race, and to wear the leader’s orange jersey.
His victory margin and time bonuses allowed him to relieve Wednesday’s stage winner Rigoberto Uran of the overall lead.
He now has a two second advantage over Alaphilippe, with Uran four seconds behind in third.
It was a bad day for four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome, though.
The Briton was caught out by a split in the peloton and finished in a group 43sec behind the winner.
He started the day in the top 10 but dropped 14 places to 23rd overall and is now 55sec off the leader.
Jungels doesn’t expect to hold onto the jersey during the next two days of hilly terrain and tough climbing, all over 2,000-meters altitude.
“I’m more than happy with one stage victory for myself. Of course we will honor the jersey and try to defend it, but I think there are stronger climbers here than me,” he said.
One of those, Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez, climbed up to 10th in the standings after picking up eight bonus seconds during the stage as he was part of a six-man breakaway only caught 10km from the finish.
He’s now 18sec behind Jungels.
Former Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana winner Nairo Quintana survived a puncutre midway through the race to stay in contention, although he is 48sec down in 19th overall.
“Although the profile looked flat these were days that will have taken their toll,” said the 29-year-old.
“I think people will pay for that tomorrow and the day after. We hope to be on top form.”
Saturday’s stage is hilly while Sunday’s ends at the top of the steep Alto de Palmas summit.
1. Bob Jungels (LUX) Deceuninck-Quick Step 03hr 04min 38sec,
2. Mihkel Raim (EST) Israel Cycling Academy at 2sec
3. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) Deceuninck-Quick Step same time
4. Cristian Villarreal (ECU) Ecuador National Team s.t.
5. Hideto Nakane (JPN) Nippo Vini Fantini Faizane s.t.
6. Diego Ochoa (COL) Team Manzana Postobon s.t.
7. Weimar Roldan (COL) Team Medellin s.t.
8. Edwin Avila (COL) Israel Cycling Academy s.t.
9. Miguel Florez (COL) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec s.t.
10. Daniel Munoz (COL) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec s.t.
1. Bob Jungels (LUX) Deceuninck-Quick Step 10hr 24min 13sec
2. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) Deceuninck-Quick Step at 2sec
3. Rigoberto Uran (COL) Education First 4
4. Daniel Martinez (COL) Education First s.t.
5. Lawson Craddock (USA) Education First s.t.
6. Egan Bernal (COL) Team Sky 12
7. Jhonnatan Narvaez (COL) Team Sky 13
8. Ivan Ramiro Sosa (COL) Team Sky 14
9. Sebastian Henao (COL) Team Sky s.t.
10. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) Astana 18