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"Since yesterday, he has had some kind of gastroenteritis and it was better for us to take it easy because he had a rough day," sports director Jaimerana tells Biciciclismo

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NAIRO QUINTANA

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TOUR DE SAN LUIS

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21.01.2014 @ 14:02 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) had a rough first day in the saddle when he started his 2014 season in the Tour de San Luis yesterday. Suffering from gastroenteritis, the Colombian was happy that the stage was an easy one and he now hopes to recover in time for the harder days.

 

Nairo Quintana is the big draw in the Tour de San Luis where he has received plenty of attention as he embarks on a season that should see him again contend for the win in a grand tour. However, he had hoped for a much better start to the race after battling through the first stage with illness.

 

Like several other riders, Quintana is suffering from gastroenteritis and the virus forced Alessandro Petacchi to abandon the race early in the stage. Unlike the Italian veteran, the Movistar leader managed to get safely through the day.

 

He didn't finish with his main rivals though as a late puncture saw him arrive on his own, several minutes after the main peloton. As it happened inside the final 3km, he has, however, been given the same time as all the other GC contenders.

 

"Since yesterday, he has had some kind of gastroenteritis and it was better for us to take it easy because he had a rough day," sports director Jose Luis Jaimerana told Biciciclismo. "He saved the day and we will wait to see if he recovers for the remaining days and will have a better opportunity.

 

"Apart from the puncture at the end which I think was inside the final three kilometres, he had no problems."

 

The stage had an unexpected outcome as the early breakaway managed to stay clear to the finish. Philip Gaimon (Garmin-Sharp) took the stage win and leader's jersey and now has an advantage of more than 4 minutes over the race favourites. As a former runner-up in the Tour of the Gila, Gaimon is no bad climber and could pose a problem for the Movistar team.

 

"It has been a difficult day," Jaimerena said The heat has made it a bit weird. It was a race situation with a breakaway that looked like being under control and we expected a sprint. Now there is a time difference that can be important although there is still much racing left and it will be very hard."

 

With the stage win not being up for grabs, Movistar sprinter Francisco Ventoso chose not to contest the sprint for 8th. Andrey Amador was the team's best in 25th.

 

Quintana will need to recover quickly as the first summit finish awaits on today's second stage.

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