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Lopez, first Colombian at the top of the Ventoux



Miguel Angel Lopez has made his mark on the slopes of Mont Ventoux a few weeks before the Tour de France.


Colombian climber Miguel Angel Lopez won the third edition of the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenges on Tuesday, racing over 153 kilometers between Vaison-la-Romaine (Vaucluse) and the summit of the Giant of Provence. The 27-year-old rider from the Movistar team did what none of his compatriots had done before: he won on Mont Ventoux (1,910 m). After 153 kilometers, including a first ascent of the Ventoux through Sault (km 99), Lopez crushed the final climb, starting in Bédoin.

The two Spaniards who complete the podium, Oscar Rodriguez (Astana) and his teammate Enric Mas (Movistar) were relegated to nearly two and a half minutes. Frenchman Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën), author of a fine top 10, is more than six minutes behind. “We came across a Miguel Angel Lopez who was very strong. He made an attack while we were all at full speed”, says the Burgundian, who was still in the leading group when Lopez escaped.

Nicknamed “Superman”, Lopez took off with twelve kilometers to go. With an unruffled face, he caught Frenchman Quentin Pacher, the last survivor of the morning breakaway, and then continued his solo ride to the summit, where no Colombian had yet won. Two of his compatriots have recently shone on the slopes of Mont Chauve: Nairo Quintana and Ivan Sosa. It was in 2020 and 2021 on the Tour de La Provence, but the finish was located much lower, at the chalet Reynard (1,417 m).

Above all, Lopez is one of the few favorites in the next Tour de France to have taken advantage of this race to scout the area: on July 7, the finish will be much the same with a double climb of the Ventoux via Sault and then Bédoin as on Tuesday, followed by the descent to Malaucène. Two days after the end of the Critérium du Dauphiné, where he took sixth place, “my team wanted to come in numbers and in strength because we know that a stage of the Tour is similar to today’s race,” he confirmed. We had to come to see the feeling. Maybe our bodies will remember it in a month.”

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