Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
There’s a video that’s going around – maybe you’ve seen it – of a gran fondo in Colombia. Hundreds of everyday cyclists make their way up a mountain road, and then Sergio Higuita (EF Education–Nippo) and Daniel Martinez (Ineos Grenadiers) streak past them as if they’re standing still.
“The difference between WorldTour and the rest of us cyclists,” reads the caption. The video is a frankly jawdropping comparison we don’t normally get to see, set to the rousing tones of AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’.
Here, have a look:
Perhaps predictably, it’s all gone low-key Twitter viral. Most people have simply marvelled at the physical spectacle. But for Sergio Higuita, there was a bigger implication: all that attention has resulted in his contract with EF Education-Nippo being terminated early.
Higuita, whose contract with EF is up at the end of the year, wasn’t riding his team-issue Cannondale SuperSix Evo (or his Rapha bib knicks, for that matter). Instead, he was riding the bike he’ll be racing next year: an S-Works Tarmac SL7 in Bora-Hansgrohe livery.
Normally that wouldn’t be a big deal – as an EF Education spokesperson told Cyclingnews, “We recognize Sergio needs time to adjust to his new equipment, as he’s heading to a new team next season. Riders routinely request permission before using new equipment at team camps and in non-public settings, which the team routinely grants.”
But the public nature of Higuita’s ride – which was at the Giro de Rigo event, organised by EF teammate Rigoberto Uran – meant that the team felt slighted, saying that Higuita’s decision “lacked respect for the partners that support [Higuita] today. As a result, the team has sent a notice of termination regarding his contract. We ultimately hope to work with Sergio to come to an amicable solution.”
That’s likely an expensive lesson for Higuita, but even with this setback, it’s fair to say the Colombian’s star is on the rise. The 24-year-old is a Grand Tour stage winner and a podium finisher at both Paris-Nice and the Tour of Colombia. In his signing announcement at Bora-Hansgrohe, team manager Ralph Denk noted his prospects for hilly one-day races and stage wins.
Until January 1, however, Higuita will be a privateer, riding extremely fast up mountains, rocking whatever bike and knicks he wants.