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'Beetle' Higuita edges Bernal to win Tour Colombia

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Bogota (AFP)

Sergio Higuita and his EF Education First team held off the challenge of Egan Bernal on Sunday and swept the final podium places in the Tour Colombia.

Daniel Martinez of EF won the mountainous 182.6 kilometre stage from Zipaquira to a mountaintop finish on El Verjon on the outskirts of Bogota in 4 hours 24 minutes and 9 seconds.

Higuita, who started the day in the leader's orange jersey, was second in the same time.

Tour de France champion Bernal was third, three seconds back.

The 22-year-old Higuita also beat Bernal to win the Colombian road title at the start of February.

"I'm really very happy because this is the first general classification I've ever won in my life," Higuita, who is known as 'the Beetle' told ESPN.

Martinez, Colombia's national time trial champion, was second overall, with Ecuadorian Jonathan Caicedo in third.

Bernal finished fourth overall, 55 seconds behind the winner.

Bernal and the Ecuadorian Giro winner Richard Carapaz tried to escape on the final climb but Higuita clung to their wheels before attacking with Martinez.

Rigoberto Uran, the theoretical EF team leader, finished the race, his first since he broke ribs and a shoulder blade and suffered a punctured lung in a crash on the sixth stage of the Vuelta a Espana in August.

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