SER­GIO HENAO

Procycling - - Debrief -

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"

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