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"When the climb began, there were a lot of attacks from the San Luis Somos Todos riders, but when we reached 10 kilometers to go Quintana did a very strong attack," Atapuma says

Photo: BMC Racing Team (Continuum Sports, LLC)






24.01.2014 @ 20:01 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

BMC kept their options open in yesterday's tough mountain stage of the Tour de San Luis when both Darwin Atapuma and Peter Stetina finished in the top 10. With Atapuma finishing 3rd on the stage and moving into 4th on GC, the Colombian is now eyeing the podium in his first race as a BMC rider.


BMC Racing Team's Darwin Atapuma finished third on Thursday's summit finish at the Tour de San Luis to climb from sixth to fourth overall, while teammate Peter Stetina finished seventh on the day and stands ninth with three stages of the Argentinian race to go. 

Atapuma registered his second top 10 result for the BMC Racing Team, crossing the finish line 92 seconds after solo stage winner Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) and 42 seconds after runner-up Sergio Godoy (San Luis Somos Todos).


"When the climb began, there were a lot of attacks from the San Luis Somos Todos riders, but when we reached 10 kilometers to go Quintana did a very strong attack," he said. "I wasn’t able to follow him immediately because I was suffering in the heat. But after some kilometers, I recovered a little bit and was able to not lose a lot of time for the overall."

Atapuma is 1:36 behind race leader Phillip Gaimon (Garmin-Sharp), who finished 18th but still holds a four-second advantage over Quintana. Marc de Maar (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team), who was with Gaimon in a Stage 1 breakaway, is third. After his runner-up finish on Stage 3, Stetina conceded 2:31 and slid from fourth to ninth, 2:32 off the lead. Friday's stage is a 19.2-kilometer individual time trial, followed by the last of three summit finishes in the 184.4-km queen stage of the week-long race. Sunday's final stage is 148.1 km on an undulating course. 

On the penultimate climb of the 168.7-kilometer race, the peloton split into three groups as it began reeling in a five-man breakaway group that had enjoyed a five-minute advantage. As the final ascent began, BMC Racing Team Sport Director Jackson Stewart said a strong effort at the front by Manuel Quinziato capped a solid team effort.


"We are really happy with how everyone rode – Larry Warbasse and Taylor Phinney and even Dominik Nerz,"  he said. "But especially Quinziato there at the end. He really tore it up and blew the field apart. That's what we needed to get as much time as possible."



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