‘Superman’ Lopez wins second installment of Tour Colombia

By Arjun Harindranath February 19, 2019
The second Tour Colombia 2.1 in Medellin last week is a big drawcard for the city’s cycling enthusiasts. Photo by Sophie Foggin

Miguel Ángel López of Astana topped the all-Colombian podium at Tour Colombia’s second ever installment. Winning overall in 18hr 38min 32sec, 25-year-old López beat out compatriots Ivan Sosa of Team Sky and Daniel Martinez of EF Education for his fifth overall title. There were only four seconds separating first and second place and López benefited greatly from eight bonus seconds that he claimed in stage four. Having won the 173.8km event, it’s Lopez’s hope now that he can take this form to the Giro d’Italia in May.

The stage itself belonged to Boyacan Nairo Quintana of Movistar. After the lead group broke away from the rest of the pack, Quintana saw off challenges from López, last year’s winner Egan Bernal of Team Sky and his teammate Ivan Sosa in an exciting finish. There were only eight seconds between Quintana and second-placed Sosa.  

Despite going into the stage as the overall leader, Julian Alaphilippe of France lost his 8-second-lead in the final climb of the race. By the end of it, he was the highest ranked non-Colombian at the event coming in at 7th place. The year before he had become the first Frenchman to win a stage at the Tour of Colombia since Bernard Hinault.

Stage 4 on Friday of Colombia Tour 2.1. Photo by Sophie Foggin

The race’s other major foreign drawcard Chris Froome was sadly taken out of contention following a crash involving several riders on the Saturday. He lost 30 minutes in the process and, despite the unfortunate finish, he hopes to back next year to tackle the hills of Antioquia.

In addition to showcasing the city of Medellín and its surrounding regions as the epicentre of cycling in Colombia, the event also demonstrated the depth and quality of the field. The country is now the number one nation on the America Tour Ranking. As a happy coincidence, López also tops the individual ranking with Quintano and crowd favourite Rigoberto Uran taking third and fourth places respectively.