Sosa wins in style

22 Jun 2019

Sosa wins in style

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La Route d’Occitanie – Stage three: Arreau – Luchon-Hospice de France, 173km

Ivan Sosa claimed his first victory in Team INEOS colours in style by winning the queen stage at La Route d’Occitanie.
 
The young Colombian put the finishing touches to a superb team performance, out-sprinting elite rivals Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First) in the Pyrenees.
 
Pavel Sivakov had earlier launched a long-range move on the Port de Bales, pushing clear of the general classification group and bridging to team-mate Sebastian Henao who had helped make up the day’s break.
 
Sivakov forged onwards over the summit and allowed both Sosa and Eddie Dunbar to sit in amid an ever-decreasing lead group.
 
When Sivakov was finally caught on the climb to Luchon with 2.5km to go, it wasn’t long before Sosa launched his first move. Dragging Uran clear off the front, race leader Valverde dug deep to bridge across to the duo in the final kilometre.
Photos: A.Lipke

Photos: A.Lipke

Despite the experience around him Sosa wasn’t finished yet, opening up his sprint with 150 metres to go and holding off Valverde to win the stage. The result moved Sosa up to second overall, eight seconds back on Valverde, in addition to taking the young rider jersey.
 
Dunbar did well to limit his losses and now sits fifth overall, with Sivakov occupying eighth on GC after his brave move almost paid off. 
Reaction

- Ivan Sosa

"
I needed this victory and it came at last. It makes the team happy and it's a big achievement for me. The idea is to keep going this way. After the race, I will go back home and work to prepare for the second part of the season.

"The idea was to be in the front today as Pavel knows these roads very well - it's a home race for him. He did some really hard work today.

"The finish was a bit difficult because I didn’t know when to attack and I knew that if I waited too much Valverde could have beat me  - so I think I attacked at the right moment."

- Brett Lancaster

"I went around the rooms last night and we put together a bit of a plan. I saw going into this race that the last 3km today was very steep and that suited Ivan. We tried to accommodate everyone and the guys all agreed.

"We had Seb in the move from the start which was fantastic. Pavel attacked over the climb. He knew it really well and rode it last week. He nearly crashed on the descent but he was able to keep it upright! Then in the bunch the guys were able to just sit on. Eddie tried to hold on and then Sosa hit them with 2km to go, and again at the finish.

"It makes you really enjoy your job and at Team INEOS we're working with some pretty special young athletes. It's very rewarding when you pull it off. It's one thing to have a plan but you have to have the riders to execute it as well. We're all stoked.

"Everyone in the team was and still are very down about Chris (Froome). I think everyone has seen that and they have to step up. And they have - all the young guys. It's very exciting for the future this young group we have. There's also Chris Lawless who is sprinting so well, so let's see tomorrow if he can go one place higher and finish off a good week."
Stage three result:

1. Ivan Sosa (Team INEOS) 4:54:47
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) s.t.
3. Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First) +3"
4. Oscar Rodriguez (Euskadi Basque Country) +19"
5. Joe Dombrowski (EF Education First) +24"
7. Eddie Dunbar (Team INEOS) +34"
11. Pavel Sivakov (Team INEOS) +1:39"


Overall Standings:

1. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 14:28:45
2. Ivan Sosa (Team INEOS) +8"
3. Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First) +17"
4. Tony Gallopin (Ag2r-La Mondiale) +42"
5. Eddie Dunbar (Team INEOS) +45"
8. Pavel Sivakov (Team INEOS) +2:26"

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