In an epic day that will go down in the history of Colombian cycling, Richard Carapaz (EF Education EasyPost) won the fifth stage of the Tour Colombia 2024 between Cota and Alto del Vino over 140.4 kilometers. Rodrigo Contreras (Nu Colombia) defended like a lion and saved the lead.

The Ecuadorian achieved his second victory of the season, with a brilliant action with 4 kilometers to go on the first category climb. Second came his compatriot Jonathan Caicedo (Forte Petrolike – Androni Giocattoli) and third came Rodrigo Contreras (Nu Colombia), who arrives at the last day with more than 20 seconds ahead of his closest rivals.

The day began with multiple attacks in the early stages of the race. The breakaway of the day was made by Vinicius Rangel (Movistar Team), Michiel Lambrecht (Bingoal WB), Wilmar Paredes (Team Medellín), Julián Cardona (Team Medellín-EPM), Alexis Quinteros (Banco Guayaquil), Franklin Archibold (Panamá Cultura y Valores), Bernardo Suaza (Petrolike), Laureano Rosas (Swift Carbon), Hernán Gómez (Sidi Ali), José Tito Hernández (Orgullo Paisa), Brandon Rojas (GW Erco Shimano), Rait Arm (Estonia National Team) and Esteban Villareal (Ecuador National Team).

After passing the municipality of La Vega, only Bernardo Suaza (Petrolike), Wilmar Paredes (Team Medellin-EPM), Rait Arm (Estonian National Team), Brandon Rojas (GW Erco Shimano), Vinicius Rangel (Movistar Team), Franklin Archibold (Panama Es Cultura y Valores), Alexis Quinteros (Team Banco Guayaquil) remained in the lead, but with less than 20 kilometers to go they were all neutralized by the favorites.

In the middle of the long climb, EF Education EasyPost was very active, first with Esteban Chaves and then with Richard Carapaz, but Rodrigo Contreras (Nu Colombia) defended like a lion in the first sections of the climb.

In the final stretch, the U.S. team made a blender for the leader and attacked him several times until Carapaz launched a lightning attack that found no response from his rivals. The Ecuadorian rode solidly until the end and celebrated alone on the Alto del Vino.

“Most of the team knew what the climb was like and that was important. I think that, having 4 riders on the climb, all climbers, made a lot of difference,” said Carapaz after finishing the stage.

“I’m super happy, for me it’s a very nice start to the season. I felt very good on the climb and I let my teammates know it, and I took advantage of the right moment to hit the decisive blow and go all the way to the finish,” added the 30-year-old Ecuadorian.

As for the general classification, the ‘Locomotora de Carchi’ got into the podium and was 17 seconds behind the leader, Rodrigo Contreras, who defended himself like a lion and saved the leadership of the race one day from the end.

“I was surprised by Rodrigo Contreras, he gave everything and we must congratulate him, he is in a good shape. I think he defended himself very well. Tomorrow is also a decisive stage and the gap is not much. Surely if we have the opportunity to attack we will try,” Carapaz concluded.

This Sunday will be the sixth and final stage of the fourth edition of the Tour Colombia, which will be held between Sopó and Bogotá, an undulating route of 138.7 kilometers with three categorized mountain prizes.

Stage 5 | Cota – Alto del Vino (138,3 km)

1 Richard CarapazEF Education – EasyPost3:34:19
2 Jonathan Klever CaicedoForte Petrolike – Androni Giocattoli0:13
3 Rodrigo ContrerasNu Colombia0:17
4 Egan BernalSelección Colombia0:33
5 Rigoberto UránEF Education – EasyPost0:35

Ranking General

1 Rodrigo ContrerasNu Colombia18:12:04
2 Richard CarapazEF Education – EasyPost0:17
3 Jonathan Klever CaicedoForte Petrolike – Androni Giocattoli0:24
4 Rigoberto UránEF Education – EasyPost0:28
5 Egan BernalSelección Colombia0:50

Source: Revista Mundo Ciclístico