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"It was another explosive finish, so something that suits me. I didn't expect to be so good at this point [of the season] but today was another opportunity for a rider of my type and I'm happy that I could turn it into a win,&q...

Photo: Trek Factory Racing

JULIAN DAVID ARREDONDO

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TOUR DE SAN LUIS

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TREK - SEGAFREDO

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26.01.2014 @ 14:10 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Julian Arredondo again proved that Trek made a good choice by giving him the chance to turn professional with them when he beat Sergio Godoy (San Luis) and Nairo Quintana to win the final stage of the Tour de San Luis. Like his victory on stage 2, this win was taken on short, steep, explosive climb that suited the tiny Colombian perfectly and he was pleased to have beaten an idol like Quintana again.

 

Julián Arredondo sprinted to the stage six win ahead of race leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Sergio Godoy (San Luis Somos Todos) to take his second victory of the seven-day tour, and also moved into fourth place in the overall. It was a perfect climb for the explosive Colombian climber as the last three kilometers of the Mirador del Sol were steep, upwards of 14 percent grade. 

He played the finish to his strength and followed Quintana and Godoy up the climb waiting until the end to jump around them, crossing the line with enough time to raise his arms in a victory salute. Godoy finished second and Quintana was third and easily held onto his race lead.

“This is incredible, I'm so happy to be able to win again,” said an elated Julián Arredondo. “Nairo is a phenomenal rider and a reference for all of us Colombian riders. I have a lot of respect for him. We know each other quite well and he was setting a high pace in the last parts of the climb.

 

"The plan was that I would climb along with the front group and then try and win the sprint," he added. "It was another explosive finish, so something that suits me. I didn't expect to be so good at this point [of the season] but today was another opportunity for a rider of my type and I'm happy that I could turn it into a win. This Tour is a good ride for Colombian cycling!

 

"I believe I'm a little bit more explosive than the other climbers and it was just a matter of waiting for the right moment," he said. "I dedicate this victory to all the cycling fans in Latin America, especially the Colombians and Bolivarians." [Arredondo is from Ciudad Bolivar].

 

In addition to Arredondo's two wins, Giacomo Nizzolo won the sprint on stage 3. Arredondo wrote it down to the right composition of the team.

“The team is doing really well here,” he said. “The mix of young riders and experienced riders is perfect, it is working! A big 'thank you' to my team and especially to my roommate Haimar Zubeldia. He's a great person with an enormous amount of experience. Haimar and Danilo [Hondo] bring a lot of calm to team and this is really important.”

 

Arredondo's success comes much earlier than expected as his main goal is the Giro d'Italia.

 

"I was planning on easing into the season but I've got great condition and I'm very happy to start the Giro with good form, too," he said. "For the Giro d'Italia the goal is to work harder than I did for this race because I really want to win a stage there."


The peloton faced its longest stage of the race at 184.4km, beginning in Las Chacras to the mountain finish on Mirador del Sol. An early break of seven riders made its move and gained no more than a fistful of minutes as Movistar set tempo on the front. It was groupo compacto leading into the finish climb and Julián played his tactics perfectly with his eye solely on the stage win.

“The plan was the same as Tuesday where we protected Julián all race,” explained sport director Alain Gallopin. “We did not have to do anything; we just had to relax until the climb. The climb was seven kilometres long but the three last were steep. The plan was for Julián to stay with Quintana - no attacking, no pulling - just play the stage win and stay on the wheel of Quintana and make the sprint.”

Eugenio Alafaci was a non-starter for stage six as he came down with an illness last night and Alain Gallopin decided to keep him back at the hotel. It is a big loss for the team as Alafaci was instrumental in helping Giacomo Nizzolo win stage three and he will be missed tomorrow for the final stage of the tour which is expected to end in a sprint.

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