Carlos Betancur (Ag2r-La Mondiale) has been locked in a fight for the best young rider's white jersey with Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff) during much of the Giro d'Italia but the aggressive Colombian rider finally distanced the Pole in the final kilometres of stage 20 in the snow at the finish.
Betancur now leads Majka by 41 precious seconds and celebrated setting up victory in the special classification by hugging his teammates, fellow Colombians and even throwing a few snowballs.
"The white jersey was my big objective and I got it. I am very happy. I want to thank everybody. It's great when you try as hard as you can and then things work out," he said, while speaking to Colombian radio.
"Today’s performance is a message of thanks to the young, the old and all the people who support us. We can take this sport forward, we can have a much better youth in our country, too, thanks to cycling if they get in interested in it, we can show everybody the real Colombia.
"With Uran second overall and me in the white jersey, that's Colombia's real class, we showed them what we can do."
Betancur risked losing the white jersey and fifth place overall after a puncture at the foot of the climb to the finish. He was not impressed that the Saxo-Tinkoff team attacked while he was forced to swap bikes and chase through the team cars.
"Saxo Bank tried to go hard when I punctured, that wasn’t fair at all but I got back to the race and I showed them what I was worth," he said.
"In truth I had a puncture, then my bike was broken, then my bike broke again, then I had to change the whole bike. But when you want to do well, there’s nothing that can stop you. This jersey really gives me a lot of motivation to do well in the future, too."
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