Crash knocks Chris Froome from Colombia contention

Chris Froome's hopes of adding a Tour Colombia 2.1 title to his palmares came crashing down Saturday just 2km into stage 5 when he was caught behind a melee on an opening descent.

The four-time Tour de France winner, racing for Team Sky,  initially tried to catch back on with the quickly disappearing peloton. Information about the incident was hard to come by at the race, but Froome eventually started ceding large blocks of time to the massively reduced peloton and at last count was more than 13 minutes behind the main bunch.

Froome eventually finished the stage with a large group that came in more than half an hour behind the winner, and he appeared to be in good spirits when he arrived at the team van to cool down. 

Aevolo's Riley Sheehan was riding near Froome when the crash occurred and described it for Cyclingnews.

"At 2km in, right after the neutral, we started cruising along and the speed went up quite fast," he said. "I think since basically from the start it was a downhill, that all the teams wanted to be safe and up front, and it was almost like coming to a sprint finish.

"Team Sky, Movistar and Astana were bumping elbows trying to get the front. And then all of the sudden pretty much half the field was caught up in the crash," he said. "There was big pile-up and a lot of people behind: myself, Chris Froome, Jonathan Castroviejo.

"Froome didn't go down, but the peloton was gone. Half the EF team was back there as well. From then on it was a chase all the way down the descent and then up the climb. There was a big split still at the base of the climb and they were gone."

Ivan Sosa, who was in a daylong breakaway with stage winner and new overall race leader Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuicStep) was the best-placed Team Sky rider on the day placing fifth at six seconds behind the winner. Team Sky's Egan Bernal finished with the much-reduced peloton at 42 seconds.

Alaphilippe now leads the overall by eight seconds over EF Education First's Dani Martinez and by 23 seconds over Astana's Miguel Angel Lopez. Sosa is fourth overall, 29 seconds behind Alaphilippe.

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Growing up in Missoula, Montana, Pat competed in his first bike race in 1985 at Flathead Lake. He studied English and journalism at the University of Oregon and has covered North American cycling extensively since 2009, as well as racing and teams in Europe and South America. Pat currently lives in the US outside of Portland, Oregon, with his imaginary dog Rusty.