France’s Julian Alaphillipe claimed the fifth stage of Tour Colombia and the overall lead on Saturday after dominating the final climb of a grueling mountainous run.
The 26-year-old Quick Step rider made his decisive break in the closing stages of the the 177.2km run to La Union ahead of Colombia’s Miguel Angel Lopez of Astana and Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz of Movistar.
“I was really concentrating in the last climb and I put in a perfect effort at the perfect time,” said Alaphillipe who finished in a time of 4:16:44.
“The other guys were really strong so I had to dig deep.”
The French rider arrived in Colombia having finished second on the Tour of San Juan in Argentina and had set-up Saturday’s performance by coming home in second place on Thursday’s third stage in Colombia.
With his win on Saturday on a stage which included a category 2 and 3 climb, Alaphilippe took over the race lead from Luxembourg teammate Bob Jungels.
“You never know what will happen on Sunday. I have the leader’s jersey but it’s hard to say if I will still have it on Sunday. I will just give my best.”