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Having made it into the long break, “Baby Quintana” holds off the race favourites on the steep Kitzbüheler Horn to take his first professional victory; Kennaugh finishes third and defends his lead

Photo: Movistar Team

DAMIANO CARUSO

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DAYER QUINTANA

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MOVISTAR TEAM

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PETER KENNAUGH

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TEAM SKY

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TOUR OF AUSTRIA 

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08.07.2014 @ 18:36 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Dayer Quintana (Movistar) proved that he has not earned himself a professional contract by being Nairo’s brother when he took a big win in the highly anticipated queen stage on the Kitzbüheler Horn in the Tour of Austria. The Colombian was the only survivor of a long breakaway while Peter Kennaugh (Sky) followed Damiano Caruso (Cannondale) on the climb to defend his overall lead and extend his advantage.

 

When Dayer Quintana signed a contract with Movistar, many people speculated that he had only earned his spot on the roster by being Nairo’s brother. His first races did nothing to dampen the speculation but today he proved that he fully deserves to be part of the professional peloton.

 

Quintana took a hugely impressive solo victory in the traditional queen stage of the Tour of Austria whose finish on the Kitzbüheler Horner with a 12% average gradient makes it one of the hardest races in the world. The Colombian was part of an early breakaway and on the final climb he both managed to drop his companions and hold off the race favourites to take his first professional victory.

 

After yesterday’s sprint stage, the Tour of Austria continued with its 206km queen stage from Bad Ischl to the top of Kitzbüheler Horn. The riders had to tackle to smaller climbs in the first half before a flat section led the bottom of the feared HC climb that led to the finish at more than 1600m of altitude.

 

The race started without Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana) and was off to a fierce opening as a lot of riders wanted to be part of the early break. An 8-rider group seemed to have got clear but after 18km of racing, things came back together.

 

The attacking continued until Dmitriy Kozontchuk (Katusha), Brent Bookwalter (BMC), Boris Vallee (Lotto), Grischa Janorscke, Jeremy Bescond (Cofidis) and Matej Mohoric (Cannondale) got clear. Rory Sutherland (Tinkoff-Saxo), Quintana and Davide Villella (Cannondale) made the junction on the climb and after some reshuffling, a 10-rider group finally emerged.

 

Guillaume Levarley (Cofidis), Francis De Greef (Wanty), Jan Tratnik, Kozontchuk, Bescond, Mhoric, Bescond, Bookwalter, Quintana, Sutherland and Villella made up the group that was allowed to build up a 10-minute advantage. While Villella won both KOM sprints and De Greef (twice) and Bescond took the intermediate sprints, Sky started to control the race for leader Peter Kennaugh and with 40km to go, the gap was only 4.00.

 

The British team accelerated as they approached the final climb and at the bottom the advantage was only 1.30. Bookwalter and Tratnik were the first to get dropped while Quintana, De Greef and Levarlet got clear.

 

Quintana dropped his companions and with 4km to go, he was 40 seconds ahead of the pair that had been joined by Sutherland. Behind, the favourites were battling it out and Kennaugh, Damiano Caruso and Javier Moreno (Movistar) emerged as the strongest.

 

Moreno fell off the pace while Kennaugh and Caruso caught all the escapees except Quintana. The Colombian did a fantastic performance to take the win 54 seconds ahead of his chasers, with the Italian taking second on the stage. Moreno finished 12 seconds later in fourth.

 

Kennaugh’s performance was enough to defend his overall lead and he is now 29 seconds ahead of Caruso and 40 seconds ahead of Moreno as he goes into the fourth stage of the race. It is a hilly affair with three big climbs – including one of the first category – in the first part but the second half is mostly flat. The final 27km are slightly uphill though.

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