Egan Bernal prevailed in the Route of Occitania, after the fourth and last stage that took place between Lectoure y Rocamadour, 195 kilometers and that was won by Benoit Cosnefroy.
The Colombian cyclist from the Ineos team made his debut in Europe in the best way, with a stage victory and the general in Occitania. The day was tinged with an indelible memory.
It may interest you: (Analysis: Egan’s coup on the Ruta de Occitania)
The caravan paid tribute to the memory of Nicolas Portal —the DT of Ineos, who died last March—, in which Bernal gave the widow and her children an autographed shirt for the members of the squad.
The stage was ‘quiet’ for the leader, since 11 cyclists, who were not a danger to his interests, ran away and dominated the day, they got more than 4 minutes 30 seconds of advantage.
Bernal started his year with third place in the time trial of the nationals and the second in the background competition.
Then, he enlisted for the Tour Colombia and there the idea was to go with Iván Sosa for the victory, but it could not be. Bernal finished in the fourth square in the test that Sergio Higuita took.
He traveled to Europe, where the main goal was to defend the Paris-Nice title, but was unable to accomplish his mission. The sudden death of his coach overshadowed that goal.
Also, the outbreak of the new coronavirus It was already strong in those countries and so it was better to avoid taking risks in the competition, so he returned to Colombia.
Egan’s victory in Occitania is number 16 for the Colombian rider on his resume, which with this demonstration in France makes it clear that he is on the right path to defend the Tour title.
It is the fourth time that a Colombian cyclist wins this race, previously called Ruta del Sur. The first to do so was Álvaro Mejía, in 1994.
It took 18 years for Nairo Quintana to win the race overall and the man from Boyaca repeated in 2016.
In addition, Quintana was second, behind Alberto Contador, in 2015.
(You may be interested in: Colombian cycling podiums on the Ruta de Occitania)
Continuing with the podiums of Colombia, Édgar Corredor was third in 1984 and Reynel Montoya did the same in 1989, who were the first national cyclists to appear.
In 2019Iván Sosa escorted Alejandro Valverde in the general classification and Rigoberto Urán was third on that occasion for the nine podiums of Colombian cycling.
Egan will play the Tour de L’Ain from Friday and from August 12 he will do the Critérium Dauphiné to leave everything ready to denote his maximum goal: the Tour de France.
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