Rigoberto Urán snatches another victory as fellow Colombians fail to shine in the last big races of the season.
The end of the road cycling season ended without fanfare for Colombia. Sprinter Fernando Gaviria managed to stay competitive in the World Championships and picked up a stage in the Tour of Britain. The climbers were less impressive, being largely anonymous in both the Worlds and the Giro di Lombardia.
Colombia sent a strong team to the World Championships in Bergen hoping to get involved in the breaks. However, none stuck and it came down to a bunch sprint. Despite being alone and unsupported, Gaviría snuck his way through to an impressive 8th. He made a couple of early moves in the sprint, leaving the youngster in a bad position when the final attacks started.
In Italy on October 5, Rigoberto Urán managed to hang on against a late push from Britain’s Adam Yates for a win in Milano-Torino. Nairo Quintana managed to finish fourth, making it a successful race for Colombia and keeping it in Colombian hands after Miguel Ángel Lopez’s win last year.
In the bigger race two days later, though, Italian Vincenzo Nibali and France’s Thibaut Pinot were too strong for the assorted Colombian riders in Lombardy, with Quintana placing highest at ninth – 42 seconds off the pace. Like Torino, the race was also won by a Colombian rider in 2016, but Esteban Chaves wasn’t around to defend his title after suffering injury before the race.
The following day, over in France, Gaviria saw his chances for a second successive Paris-Tours victory dashed. He slipped in the race and went sprawling across the road. There was no way he could recover as rival teams put the hammer down and distanced him. His Quick-Step floors team-mate Matteo Trentin went on to take the stage – showing that it would likely have gone to Gaviria had he stayed in the mix. However, with things as they were he scraped 28th.