Team Sky are often associated with a controlling, even stifling, style of racing, but at the Colombia Oro y Paz they were rewarded for a more inventive and aggressive approach with overall victory for Egan Bernal.
Going into the final day and its summit finish at Manizales, Bernal, along with Sergio Henao, was one of two Sky riders in the top four, less than 10 seconds behind race leader Nairo Quintana. Henao had come into the race as the team’s designated leader, but Sky were willing and able to win the race with their ‘Plan B’
An attack from Bernal somewhere on the 20km final climb would heap the pressure on Quintana, and so it proved as the young Colombian signing only needed one dig to open a gap to the favourites with 3km to go. With Tao Geoghegan Hart and Sebastián Henao both in the break, the tactic was predictable and the duo in turn were able to provide support all the way to the line.
“It was a great day, the team did a great job. We had the opportunity to try something and in truth, I had very good legs from the bottom of the climb and I felt good. We had the opportunity, with support from Tao and Sebas, so it all worked out perfectly,” Bernal told reporters in Manizales.
“Its an important victory for many reasons. It’s one of my first races with the team, it’s the first race I’ve won with the team, and then because it’s in Colombia. It’s the first 2.1 race in Colombia and I’ve won it, so it’s something special.”
Team Sky directeur sportif Nico Portal said the plan had been made the night before, explaining the approach to the race.
Talented but also super smart
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