With 18 kilometers elapsed, he passed near his hotel and got off the bike. The heart of the cycling world sank: Egan Bernal abandons the Tour of San Juan in the penultimate stage. Just one day after his magnificent performance in Alto del Colorado, where he was fourth after Miguel Ángel López, Filippo Ganna and Sergio Higuita, the Colombian set off alarm bells. In the first moment It was believed that he suffered from stomach problems, a setback that caused the abandonment of several runners during this week. However the Ineos made the reason official few minutes later.
“Egan Bernal has reluctantly withdrawn from the Vuelta a San Juan due to the pain in the left knee suffered in the fall in which he was involved in the first stage of the race”, read the statement from the British team. It remains to be seen if these inopportune inconveniences compromise his participation in the Colombian Nationals (February 2-5), where he would aspire to win his first title of national champion on the road. The sixth and penultimate stage of the Argentine round saw the signing of Sam Welsford (DSM), who achieved his second professional victory in the sprint on another day of relative calm. In general, without changes, it remains leader Miguel Angel Lopez in the absence of the last day.
The day unfolded according to the script provided in another outcome reserved for sprinters: escape, neutralization and mass sprint. The pace was truly dizzying, with a average of almost 49 km/h during the first hour of the race which repeatedly frustrated the escape plans. This was consolidated with the presence of seven runners among whom Max Richeze, aware that he had to speed up his chances of victory in a small group to say goodbye as a professional in style. The more than 4 minutes that they had ended up in nothing with the work of Team Medellín, who was forced to work to avoid scares with a John Paul Dotti who became a virtual leader.
The regrouping took place with 17.5 km to go to the finish line, so the sprinters’ teams had plenty of time to prepare for the fly Gave the feeling that Gaviria was the fastest, since he came back from behind despite being somewhat enclosed, but neither he, nor Bennett, nor Jakobsen or Sagan could with the Australian Welsford, who kept a clear line near one of the fences to give the surprise of the week. This Sunday, the last chapter with the traditional circuit through the streets of the capital. Superman, one step away from being crowned.