SOGAMOSO, Colombia (AFP) - Sprinter Juan Sebastian Molano won his second successive stage at the Tour Colombia on Thursday as Tour de France champion Egan Bernal finished safely in the peloton.
UAE Team Emirates’ Molano beat compatriots Edwin Avila and Alvaro Hodeg into second and third at the end of the 178km stage from Paipa to Sogamoso at an average altitude of 2,600m.
Ecuador’s Jonathan Caicedo retained the leader’s orange jersey after finishing in the pack.
It was a ninth victory already this year for UAE.
Molano also won Wednesday’s 152km stage two in another sprint finish.
Caicedo remains atop the overall standings with three team-mates level with him on time -- Colombians Sergio Higuita and Daniel Martinez, who are expected to challenge for the final victory, and American Tejay van Garderen.
Their American EF Pro Cycling squad won Tuesday’s opening team time-trial.
But having lost 46sec on the opening stage, Bernal’s Team Ineos tried to spring a surprise on Thursday, sending Sebastian Henao into the day’s break.
That was caught 16km from the finish but then Ecuadoran Giro d’Italia champion Richard Carapaz tried to steal a march on the sprinters by launching a solo attack one kilometer from the finish.