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"I wanted to contest the stage, but some moves had to be made to control the attacks. Serpa and Pozzovivo gave it a try and Arredondo was really strong at the end. He deserves it," Quintana says

Photo: Sirotti

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NAIRO QUINTANA

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26.01.2014 @ 14:35 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) almost sealed the overall win in the Tour de San Luis when he finished 3rd on the last big mountain stage of the Argentinean race. Despite being overjoyed with his overall position, he admitted to having hoped for another stage win.

 

Nairo Quintana is just one mostly flat stage away from his first overall stage race win of the season after finishing 3rd on yesterday's queen stage of the Tour de San Luis. Enjoying a comfortable 26-second lead over surprise 2nd Phil Gaimon (Garmin-Sharp) and having a more than 2-minute buffer on all of his other rivals, the Colombian rode a solid race to even extend his lead over his American rival.

 

Quintana used his strong Movistar team to control the pace throughout the stage and reel in a rather strong 7-man group that had formed early in the stage. Finally, it was the race leader himself who tightened the screws on the final climb but he was unable to get rid of eventual stage winner Julian Arredondo (Trek) and Sergio Godoy (San Luis).

 

With only a flat stage still to come, only disaster can prevent Quintana from winning the race and he is delighted with his situation at this point of the race.

 

"I'm more than satisfied with the work by my teammates," he said. "It was spectacular and I can only thank all of them. This overall victory, so close now, is dedicated to those five. Amador and Intxausti stayed with me until I tried to go solo with 4k remaining."

 

Quintana may be happy with the GC situation but he had actually hoped to take another stage win to add to the one he already took on stage 4.

 

"I wanted to contest the stage, but some moves had to be made to control the attacks," he said. "[Jose] Serpa and [Domenico] Pozzovivo gave it a try and Arredondo was really strong at the end. He deserves it.

 

"The idea was to try to win the stage, but also to build more time between me and the second place rider," he added. "In the end I wasn't able to win, but I gained time [on Gaimon].

 

"I was feeling strong all the way to the top, but in the final the other Colombian and the Argentinean were stronger."

 

Movistar will now turn their attention to the final stage where Francisco Ventoso will try to improve on the 2nd place he took on stage 3, in an uphill sprint that suits the fast Spaniard down to the ground.

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