Bernal wins La Route d'Occitanie

04 Aug 2020

Bernal wins La Route d'Occitanie

Egan Bernal led home a Team INEOS 1-2 overall victory at La Route d’Occitanie, with Pavel Sivakov second following a tough finale on an emotional final stage.

Bernal finished fourth on the stage, with Sivakov seventh as Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale) won on a punchy final climb. 

The result secured Team INEOS' first stage race victory of the season, with Bernal and Sivakov finishing ahead of Astana's Aleksandr Vlasov. 

The day started with a beautiful tribute to Nicolas Portal in Lectoure, with Team INEOS riders and Sir Dave Brailsford being joined joined by Nico's family for a minute's applause before the start.

The early breakaway was a 12-strong unit which forced the leaders' teams into action to bring them back into contention, with Team INEOS duo Tao Geoghegan Hart and Dylan van Baarle working hard to reduce the gap. 

Fausto Masnada was the biggest threat overall, and was the last rider left infront, until he was caught with 10 kilometres remaining which kickstarted a series of moves, with only Cosnefroy able to go clear. However, Bernal and Sivakov were alive to the danger and finished close behind to round off a dominant race victory. 

Egan Bernal

“I was really happy with the result, I think it’s important to win the race, for the team and the morale after the lockdown. The main thing is that I’m feeling really good. I think my preparation is going well and that is the most important thing for me at this race. 

“The finish was really hard, nobody expected a final as tricky as that, but I felt really good and I just tried to do a good effort, the most important thing is to train hard for the Tour so I just tried to go and do my effort and I was with the best riders until the finish line so that is the important thing for me.

“This morning it was nice to share some time with Nico Portal's family, they are part of our family and it is nice to see them again and share some time with them. They are like our family and I think Nico is still with us.” 

I’m happy to have this race finished and I feel this racing will really help bring my level up as we head towards the Tour de France."
Chris Froome

“I was really really happy to get another race in the legs this season, it was the first time for me doing real work in the climbs, so it was nice to have a little hit out, a nice little test and good to be in and amongst the team this week and come away with a fantastic result as well, first and second with Egan and Pavel.

“It’s great to see after a long break from racing to come back and to have done that. I’m happy to have this race finished and I feel this racing will really help bring my level up as we head towards the Tour de France. 

“It was quite an emotional day remembering Nico, and it’s been an emotional week remembering him, riding on old roads where I would join him quite often on recons and spending time with him and brought back a lot of memories.
 “It was great to see his family this morning and to see how the race paid tribute to him with a minute’s applause with his family."
Final result

1. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) 17:57:27
2. Pavel Sivakov (Team INEOS) +13"
3. Aleksandr Vlasov.(Astana) +23"
4. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama - FDJ) +37"
5. Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) +1'09"