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The Italian time trial specialist beats his American rival by just 3 seconds in an exciting duel while his teammate Quintana gains 30 seconds on Phil Gaimon to take the overall lead on the eve of the final mountain stage

Photo: Sirotti

ADRIANO MALORI

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NEWS

JORGE GIACINTI

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NEWS

MOVISTAR TEAM

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NEWS

NAIRO QUINTANA

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TAYLOR PHINNEY

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TOUR DE SAN LUIS

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24.01.2014 @ 22:51 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Adriano Malori kicked off his career as a Movistar rider in the perfect way when he made it two in a row for the Spanish team by beating Taylor Phinney (BMC) in a closely fought battle between the time trialing giants on the 19,2km fifth stage of the Tour de San Luis. His teammate Nairo Quintana finished 16th and put 30 seconds into overnight leader Phil Gaimon (Garmin-Sharp) to take over the top position in the overall standings.

 

After two consecutive stage wins for Trek, Movistar has taken over the dominance in the Tour de San Luis. 24 hours after Nairo Quintana's impressive stage win on the race's queen stage, time trial specialist and new signing Adriano Malori came out on top in the race's only timed event.

 

Everybody expected a big battle between the two specialists Malori and Taylor Phinney who were both perfectly suited to the flat, powerful 19,2km course in the city of San Luis. And that was exactly the outcome of the time trial as the duo were clearly in a class of their own.

 

Malori was the first to finish his ride and set a time of 22.11 to put more than a minute into Eloy Teruel (Jamis) who was the leader at that point. When Phinney crossed the line half an hour later, he stopped the clock in 221.14 and so came agonizingly close to his first win of the season.

 

The best of the rest was local rider Jorge Giacinti (San Luis) who was a distant 3rd at 29 seconds while Lawrence Warbasse (BMC) was the only other rider to go under the 23-minute mark.

 

With all the specialists having all finished their rides, the attention turned to the battle for the overall lead. Nairo Quintana went into the stage with a 4-second deficit to stage 1 winner Phil Gaimon, with the American having stated that he planned to take time on his Colombian rival.

 

However, it turned out to be the opposite outcome as Quintana put in a very good ride on a course that didn't do him many favours. His time of 23.29 was good enough for 16th and as Gaimon could only manage 23.59, Quintana took over the lead with a 26-second buffer.

 

Local rider Sergio Godoy (San Luis) who had finished 2nd on yesterday's mountain stage, proved that he can also time trial and as Marc De Maar (Unitedhealthcare) had a surprisingly poor performance, the Argentinean is now 3rd overall, albeit 2.01 off the overall lead.

 

The race continues tomorrow with the final mountaintop finish of the race. The mostly flat ride ends with the brutally steep climb of Mirador del Sol which has a length of 7km and an average gradient of 8,75%. However, the first part is rather easy, with the second part offering two kilometres with gradients above the 14% mark.

 

A flat time trial

The 19,2km fifth stage was a mostly flat time trial in the city of San Luis. The course was held of the same course as last year and suited the powerful specialists as evidenced by Svein Tuft's win 12 months ago. While the stage win was expected to be one for the specialists, a shake-up of the GC was also expected.

 

The first rider down the ramp was Alvaro Soca (Cuba) but it was Argentinean track star Walter Perez (Buenos Aires) who set the early best time of 24.21. A few minutes later, Fabio Silvestre (Trek) who has been battling with illness in the first part his debut as a Trek rider lowered the mark by 3 seconds.

 

Frapporti new leader

Silvestre's time held off the challenge of the many local riders who dominated the early part of the action but time trial specialist Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) was also far off the mark. The one push Silvestre out of the hot seat was Marco Frapporti (Androni) whose time of 24.04 was close to breaking the 24-minute mark.

 

Local rider Juan Curuchet (Argentina) set a time that was only 3 seconds slower than Frapporti but the Androni rider was relegated to 2nd when former track rider Eloy Teruel (Jamis) finished his ride. His time of 23.14 was the first to be below the 24-minute mark but the next to riders on the course also broke that barrier, with Moreno Moser (Cannondale) finishing in 23.37 and Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) stopping the clock in 23.38.

 

Sagan shows signs of life

Until now, Peter Sagan (Cannondale) has had a low-key race but today he finally showed some signs of life. When he crossed the line, his time was only 2 seconds slower than Teruel's and he moved into the provisional 2nd spot. Joaquim Rodriguez and Daniel Moreno (Katusha) who have both been far behind on the climbs, both had solid rides as they tested their improved time trial abilities.

 

The next rider on the course was Adriano Malori (Movistar) who was one of the two great favourites for the stage. The Italian showed that he was intent of getting his time with his new team off to a good start when he lowered Teruel's mark by a massive 1.03.

 

Giacinti performs well

Local riders Jorge Giacinti (Argentina) has often finished near the top in San Luis time trials and he planned to again put in a solid ride. He did so when he became the second rider to go under the 23-minute mark, posting a time that was 29 seconds slower that Malori's.

 

Manuel Quinziato (BMC) was the next specialist on the course and he did a good ride to move into the provisional 3rd spot with a time of 23.04. Ag2r GC rider Jean-Christophe Peraud (Ag2r)  had a decent ride with 23.53 but all eyes were now on the second big favourite Taylor Phinney (BMC).

 

Phinney comes close

Phinney and Malori were as equally matched as many had predicted but it was the Italian who came out triumphant. With a time of 22.14, Phinney was agonizingly close to the victory, losing only 3 seconds to his rival.

 

Tanel Kangert (Astana) and Benat Intxausti (Movistar) both went below the 24-minute barrier by posting times of 23.19 and 23.58 respectively but the next standout performance was delivered by Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step). The Belgian showed that he is ready for the classics by posting a time of 23.08 that was good enough for the provisional 5th place.

 

Amador with a good ride

Boonen was relegated to 6th by the next rider as Andrey Amador (Movistar) set a time of 23.03 that put him into 4th. An in-form Danilo Hondo (Trek) set a time of 23.13 that moved him into the provisional top 10.

 

All eyes were now on Vincenzo Nibali who had set that he wanted to use the time trial as an important test. His time of 23.25 was good enough for the provisional 11th place.  A little late Lawrence Warbasse (BMC) became the 4th rider to go under the 23-minute barrier when he slotted into the provisional 4th place. Michele Scarponi (Astana) and Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto Belisol) both proved that they have improved in the discipline by setting times that were good enough for a top 20 finish.

 

The GC battle heats up

All eyes were now on the GC battle as all the major specialists had finished their ride. Local riders Enzo Moyano (San Luis) and Sergio Godoy (San Luis) delivered surprisingly good performances with times of 23.39 and 23.49 but the real excitement was the battle for the yellow jersey.

 

Nairo Quintana showed that he can actually time trial rather well when he crossed the line in a time of 23.29 and all were now waiting for Phil Gaimon to reach the finish. When the American finally arrived, he had been on the course 30 seconds longer than his Colombian rival and so the day ended as a great success for Movistar, with Malori taking the stage win and Quintana the overall lead.

 

Result:

1. Adriano Malori 22.11

2. Taylor Phinney +0.03

3. Jorge Giacinti +0.29

4. Lawrence Warbasse +0.48

5. Andrey Amador +0.52

6. Manuel Quinziato +0.53

7. Tom Boonen +0.57

8. Danilo Hondo +1.02

9. Eloy Teruel +1.03

10. Peter Sagan +1.05

 

General classification:

1. Nairo Quintana 17.18.14

2. Phil Gaimon +0.26

3. Sergio Godoy +2.01

4. Enzo Moyano +2.17

5. Marc De Maar +2.18

6. Peter Stetina +2.47

7. Julian Arredondo +2.49

8. Eduardo Sepulveda +2.59

9. Darwin Atapuma +3.21

10. Miguel Angel Rubiano +3.30

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