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Harold Tejada (Astana Qazaqstan) claimed his first professional victory in a thrilling finale on stage 2 of the Tour Colombia. The Colombian out-sprinted Andrea Piccolo (EF Education-EasyPost) and Óscar Sevilla (Medellín) in a hotly-contested finish between the remnants of the day’s breakaway.
Sevilla was away with Robinson Chalapud (Team Banco Guayaquil-Bianchi) heading into the final 2km but the group with Tejada and Piccolo caught them as their gap to the chasing peloton dipped below the minute mark.
Tejada inherits the yellow leader’s jersey from compatriot Fernando Gaviria (Movistar), winner of the opening stage.
How it unfolded
For the second successive day, the Tour Colombia peloton was flagged away amid raucous crowds in the heart of Nairo Quintana country in Paipa. His Movistar teammate Fernando Gaviria set out in the yellow jersey, but the fast man was already resigned to losing the garment on the rugged run north to Santa Rose de Viterbo.
It took some time for the first break of the day to form, with Efrén Santos (Canel´s Java), Esteban Villarreal (Selección de Ecuador), Javier Jamaica (Team Medellín-EPM), Bernardo Suaza (Petrolike), Daniel Méndez (Nu Colombia) and Freddy Ávila (Colombia Potencia de la Vida-Strongman) eventually forging clear after almost an hour of racing.
The sextet held a lead of two minutes as they entered the final 100km, but the race would take on a different guise shortly afterwards, when the peloton splintered into echelons on an exposed section of road between the twin ascents of the Alto Moral. By the second time up the climb, a group of 17 riders had formed at the front, and they continued to press home their advantage over the other side.
Dangermen Harold Tejada (Astana-Qazaqstan), Óscar Sevilla (Team Medellín), Rodrigo Contreras (NU Colombia) and Andrea Piccolo (EF Education-EasyPost) were all aboard the move, which still had 2:30 in hand as they entered the final 20km.
The move also contained Aaron Van Der Beken (Bingoal WB), Javier Jamaica (Team Medellín), Róbinson Chalapud (Banco Guayaquil), Efren Santos (Canel’s-Java), Jose Muñíz (Petrolike), Yeison Reyes (Team Sistecrédito), Santiago Gómez (Team Sistecrédito), Andrés Pinzón (GW Erco SHIMANO), Brandon Rojas (GW Erco SHIMANO), César Guavita (Colombia Potencia De Vida), Hugo Rodríguez (Colombia), Juan Diego Alba (Colombia) and Bayron Guamá (Ecuador).
While favourites like Richard Carapaz and Egan Bernal were represented by teammates in the move, Movistar were conspicuous by their absence. It fell upon Quintana and Iván Sosa’s squad to perform the bulk of the chasing on the run-in to the Alto Malterias, which provided an obvious platform for late attacks.
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