2020 Tour de France

6 South Americans To Watch At The Tour De France

6 South Americans To Watch At The Tour De France

The jagged profiles of the 2020 Tour de France will put the climbing talents of South Americans on display.

Aug 28, 2020 by Rebecca Reza
6 South Americans To Watch At The Tour De France

By Rebecca Reza

The jagged profiles of the 2020 Tour de France will put the climbing talents of South Americans on display, from the opening stages in Nice to the stage 20 Planche des Belles Filles Time Trial.  

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This unprecedented 2020 edition is devoid of the flat and technical time trials typical of the Tour, packed instead with countless intense mountain days across all five of France’s mountain ranges. With seven summit finishes across the 21 days, the 2020 Tour de France offers many opportunities for South American riders, many of whom who excel in steep mountainous terrain. Stage 17 alone has two HC climbs in the second half of the stage. 

Egan Bernal is ready to kick off his defense of the yellow jersey, hoping for a second historic win. The Colombian star will have the full backing of his Team INEOS Grenadiers after the team announced the absence of both Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome. Bernal chose to exit the Dauphiné a day early, giving him time to recover from an ailing back injury. The team is confident he will be strong and ready to race on Saturday. His win at the Route d’Occitanie was promising, though he displayed some vulnerability battling Primoz Roglic in the mountains at the Dauphiné. Roglic crashed and like Bernal, chose to skip the final day. 

A total of 12 Latin Americans will be on the starting line including 10 escarabajos from Colombia. FloBikes highlights some of our favorites, including several making their debut. 

Sergio Higuita (EF Pro Cycling)

“The Monster” has excelled at nearly every task the team has asked of him. The current Colombian National Road Champion burst onto the scene, finishing second on Mt. Baldy in the 2019 Tour of California last season. The 23-year-old followed that up with a stage win in his first Grand Tour, salvaging the team’s Vuelta a España  after both Tejay van Garderen and Rigoberto Uran crashed out.  

This year’s Tour of Colombia winner had a minor crash at the Critérium du Dauphiné, but is ready for his Tour debut. He will likely be riding in support of Uran and Dani Martinez, but should the race have unexpected surprises for the team, Higuita will be ready to take the reigns. 

Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton Scott)

2020 will be only the second Tour participation for Chaves. Previously his focus was on the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España, where he finished third overall in 2016. 

Chaves’ career took a turn in 2018 when he was diagnosed with mononucleosis, but his emphatic mountaintop victory in the 2019 Giro proved that he was returning to his best. 

He began his 2020 season for the first time at home, where he finished  7th at the Tour of Colombia, and remained through quarantine. He finished fourth on GC at the Vuelta a Burgos, proving his time at home served him well. Chaves will be a strong second option after Simon Yates struggled at the Dauphiné. 

Miguel Ángel Lopez (Team Astana)

It is hard to believe that 2020 will be Superman’s debut at the Tour de France. Lopez finished third in his debut at the Giro d’Italia in 2018, and seventh last season, winning the Best Young Rider classification for the second time. After winning the Tour of Colombia in 2019, he opted to skip it for the Volta ao Algarve this February where he finished third. He was fifth overall last week at the Dauphiné, but has yet to show his explosive power this season. 

Daniel Martinez  (EF Pro Cycling)

Dani Martinez took a surprise win at last week’s Critérium du Dauphiné. A surprise to everyone except his team. Martinez began 2020 defending his Colombian National Time Trial title, before winning the brutal queen stage at the Tour of Colombia finishing just ahead of Egan Bernal both times. 

The road will tell what role Martinez will play, racing alongside teammates Higuita and Uran. His impressive Dauphiné win proved the 24-year-old has kept his form from February, able to match if not prevail over the climbing power of the top contenders.

Richard Carapaz (Team INEOS)

The defending Giro Champion was a late addition to the Tour team after the British duo of Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas failed to perform at the Dauphiné. The news sent shock waves in the cycling media, confirming INEOS will be fully supporting Bernal in his bid for a second, consecutive win. Should he fail, the Ecuadorian powerhouse will be a strong second option for the team in his Tour debut. Last season his performance at the Giro exemplified his ability to remain calm and cool under pressure. 

Rigoberto Uran (EF Pro Cycling)

Uran’s 2019 came to an abrupt halt when he crashed at the Vuelta. What seemed to be only a shoulder blade fracture soon became a very serious injury. The Colombian suffered a collapsed lung, and several broken ribs that threatened to send him into retirement. He returned at the Tour of Colombia in February, fighting to rediscover his fitness before the world went into lockdown. He likely benefited more than  most from the quarantine, which allowed his body extra time to recover before he made his return to racing at the Dauphiné. 

With Martinez and Higuita alongside him, Rigoberto Uran rounds out EF Pro Cycling’s powerful and ambitious trio of Colombian GC threats.