EF Pro Cycling smashed the opening team time trial of the Tour Colombia 2.1, delivering a 45-second beating to Deceuninck-Quickstep in the 16.7km test, with Team Ineos and Tour de France champion Egan Bernal 46 seconds adrift in third.
Ecuadoran Jonathan Caicedo surged across the line first, and will trade his national champion's jersey for the first orange leader's jersey of the race.
More to come!
How it unfolded
The 16.7km team time trial in Tunja was relatively flat and very fast, although the teams climbed from just after the start into a headwind on a hill that gained 90 metres of elevation before the course turned back for a smoking fast run to the finish.
Starting fifth of the 27 teams, Pro Continental Team Rally Cycling set the mark to beat the early starters with a time of 19 minutes. The American team set the fastest time at all the check points and cruised onto the hot seat for a lengthy stay.
Rally’s mark held until Deceuninck-QuickStep, starting on the 19th spot, blasted across the line in 18:46, relegating Rally to second and taking over the the spot on the hot seat. UAE Team Emirates came in next at 19:01, failing to eclipse either the Belgian WorldTour team or the American pro Continental squad. EPM-Scott was next and also set a time of 19:01.
Deceuninck-QuickStep’s mark was obliterated by EF Pro Cycling, which started in the 23rd position and crossed the line in 18:01, a minute faster than Rally and 45 seconds better than their Belgian WorldTour rivals.
The Team Ineos squad of Colombian Tour de France champion Egan Bernal could only manage the third-best time when they crossed the line with a time of 18:46, missing QuickStep by just one second.
With only the Russian National Team, and two Continental teams – Efapal and Canel’s – remaining, the US WorldTour team took the stage win and put Caicedo into the leader's jersey.
The Tour Colombia 2.1 continues Wednesday with a 152.4km stage from Paipa to Duitama.