Vuelta a Colombia brings the longest climb ever used in a UCI race

Vuelta a Colombia may be small in terms of UCI status (2.2), but in recent years, the Colombian national race has been writing stories you wouldn't see anywhere else.

Compared to last year (read below), 2024 so far has been relatively controlled bit of racing. The opening stages offered a mix of flat and hilly stages that haven't provoked much of action in the peloton. However this was all just a calm before the storm that came in stage 4.

Alto del Sifón. Many cyclists won't ever wish to hear this name again. The climb is popular among amateurs who like to push their limits on this climb. Why? Because of its unique length of 88 kilometers at average of 4.3% with sections above 10%. The winner on the day Wilson Pena took seemingly infinite 3 hours 28 minutes and 10 seconds to ride up this monster of a climb!

Last year's edition went down in the history books thanks to currently suspended Miguel Ángel López. The former pro with Astana and briefly Movistar, was fired from the Kazakh team at the end of 2022 amidst doping allegations. With no other offers in sight, the 'Superman' joined the continental Medellín - EPM. The Colombian stage race was one of the last competitions for López before the UCI finally provisionally suspended the Colombian at the beginning of July.

But before the hammer came down at López, he managed to a feat that may never be repeated. During the ten days of racing, then 29-year-old climber won 9 (!) out of 10 stages. You would think the former pro dominated in the mountains, but López won both timetrials as well as a sprint finish. Only third stage slipped through López hands when he narrowly lost in a sprint to Jhonatan Guatibonza (currently UAE Team Gen Z). In just 6 months of racing in 2023, López racked up 20 UCI victories - a record that, if it wasn't stained by doping, would be one of the best performances in cycling history.

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Cycling Vuelta a Colombia

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