Wins are few and far between for Sergio Henao. The Paris-Nice yellow jersey this year was his irst international victory since mid-2015, and he’s won seven races in six years as a pro. Yet the breadth of races in which he has achieved high inishes is huge. The Sky rider has top 15s in grand tours, top 15s in most of the one-week WorldTour stage races ( irst in ParisNice, second in the Basque Country, third in the TDU, California and Poland) and top 10s in a variety of one-day races (second in Flèche Wallonne, ifth in Lombardia, sixth in Amstel Gold, seventh in Liège).
He's got 31 top 15s and 11 top ives in grand tour and WorldTour stage race GCs, and WorldTour one-day races, So why only one GC win?
As with so many, the main thing stopping him is also his greatest asset: versatility. He is strong, resilient and a good climber, but lacks the snap to sprint for victories. His coach at Sky, Xabier Artetxe, has also identi ied a weakness in time trialling. “Sergio can perform in one-day and one-week races and Grand Tours, and he’s one of the best in the world. But maybe he needs to specialise a bit more,” he says.
“He needs a bit of speed to win one-day races or a better time trial to win a stage race. When you compare Sergio with other riders, they don’t make such a big di ference on the climbs, but often the TT decides the GC.” Henao’s time trialling has cost him dear in the past. He wore the leader’s jersey in the Tour of the Basque Country going into the inal-day time trial in 2013, 2015 and 2016, as well as in the Tour of Poland in 2015, and then lost the lead. “Sergio has the mentality of a leader and he is a tough guy,” says Artetxe. “He knows he can still improve.”
"He needs to specialise a bit more. He needs a bit of speed to win one- day races or a better time trial to win a stage race"