Ivan Sosa exploited the attention on his more famous Colombian compatriot and Ineos team-mate Egan Bernal on the final climb up snowy Mont Ventoux to win the third stage of the Tour de La Provence on Saturday.
Sosa finished 15 seconds ahead of 2019 Tour de France winner Bernal with the other big name in the four-day race, reigning world champion Julian Alaphilippe of Deceuninck-Quick-Step, another three seconds back at the end of a 153.9km ride from Istres.
The 23-year-old Sosa is 19 seconds ahead of Bernal and 21 seconds ahead of Frenchman Alaphilippe in the general classification heading into Sunday’s final stage, a 163.2km race from Avignon to Salon-de-Provence, which is likely to end in a mass sprint.
On a foggy forest road, Ineos exploited the attention on Bernal. The team set the pace at the front up the climb but then sent Sosa away with a little bit less than five kilometers to go.
Sosa quickly built a 20-second advantage, while Bernal marked Alaphilippe’s attacks.
“We were both leaders this morning, we thought that we would see when the time came, who would attack first”, said Sosa.
Bernal and Alaphilippe escaped from the pack with 3.5 km to go to fight out their anticipated duel.
Dutchman Wouter Poels (Bahrain) joined the two heavyweights briefly, but he was dropped with one kilometer to go.
Both stars made attacks, but Bernal landed the decisive punch with 500 meters to go.
STAGE 3 RESULTS
|1||SOSA Iván||INEOS Grenadiers||4:08:14|
|2||BERNAL Egan||INEOS Grenadiers||0:15|
|3||ALAPHILIPPE Julian||Deceuninck – Quick Step||0:18|
|4||POELS Wout||Bahrain – Victorious||0:29|
|5||HERRADA Jesús||Cofidis, Solutions Crédits||0:48|
|6||CICCONE Giulio||Trek – Segafredo||0:48|
|7||MOLLEMA Bauke||Trek – Segafredo||0:48|
|8||VANSEVENANT Mauri||Deceuninck – Quick Step||0:48|
|9||HAIG Jack||Bahrain – Victorious||0:48|
|10||KONRAD Patrick||BORA – hansgrohe||0:48|
|1||SOSA Iván||INEOS Grenadiers||13:13:16|
|2||BERNAL Egan||INEOS Grenadiers||0:19|
|3||ALAPHILIPPE Julian||Deceuninck – Quick Step||0:21|
|4||POELS Wout||Bahrain – Victorious||0:39|
|5||MOLLEMA Bauke||Trek – Segafredo||0:57|
|6||KONRAD Patrick||BORA – hansgrohe||0:58|
|7||HAIG Jack||Bahrain – Victorious||0:58|
|8||VANSEVENANT Mauri||Deceuninck – Quick Step||0:58|
|9||HERRADA Jesús||Cofidis, Solutions Crédits||0:58|
|10||VLASOV Aleksandr||Astana – Premier Tech||0:58|
RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini