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“I had to do the lead-out for Elia. In the end we lost each other so I decided to pass on the left and in the end I found myself shoulder to shoulder with Elia just meters from the finish."

Photo: Bettini Photo

ANDREW TALANSKY

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ANDRÉ FERNANDO MARTINS CARDOSO

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DAYER QUINTANA

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DECEUNINCK - QUICK-STEP

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EF EDUCATION FIRST

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EDUARDO SEPULVEDA

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ELIA VIVIANI

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MAXIMILIANO RICHEZE

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MIGUEL ANGEL LOPEZ

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MOVISTAR TEAM

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NAIRO QUINTANA

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PETER SAGAN

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RAFAL MAJKA

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TOUR DE SAN LUIS

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UAE TEAM EMIRATES

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VINCENZO NIBALI

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25.01.2016 @ 13:02 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Jakub Marezcko confirmed that he is a future top sprinter in the making by taking the biggest win of his career in the final stage of the Tour de San Luis. With a late surge in the bunch sprint, he edged out teammate from the Italian national team Elia Viviani on a photo finish, with Jason Lowndes (Drapac) holding off Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) in the fight for third. Dayer Quintana (Movistar) finished in the bunch and took the overall victory ahead of Eduardo Sepulveda (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) and his brother and teammate Nairo.

 
We have gathered several reactions.

 

Dayer Quintana: Today more people will know my name

No challenges showed up during the 119km closing stage - a semi-urban course around the province's capital - as Dayer Quintana was able to celebrate, together with his Movistar Team-mates, the final success in the 10th Tour de San Luis, first win for the telephone squad in 2016 and second overall title in Argentina for the only squad able to claim multiple victories in the highest-ranked Latin American cycling event.

 

The Boyacá-born rider's display, supported by his brother Nairo, Dani Moreno, Marc Soler and Fran Ventoso, was based on resistance and regularity. Despite his less strong point being time trials, he was able to keep the pace together with more experienced companions to gain an advantage in the opening TTT (2nd). He later attacked to help Nairo, ultimately feeling forced to take by his own chances against a superior Eduardo Sepúlveda in the Cerro El Amago (4th). Lastly, on Saturday, and following Adriano Malori's horrible accident – now steadily recovering - Dayer was able to make up his short deficit to the Argentinian (3rd) and seize control of the green jersey, with invaluable help from the 2014 overall victor.

 

The riders directed by José Luis Jaimerena will travel back to Spain on Monday with an added prize as they claimed the teams' overall classification. His friend Malori will remain in memory, though, and was surely a huge boost of motivation after the incident towards Juana Koslay, a bitter moment which may fortunately be left behind soon.

 

“These are really nice feelings - utter happiness,” Dayer said. “Thank God, everything went really well today. There wasn’t so much fight in today’s stage to make the break, the split was formed after a few kilometres, and without any interest from ourselves to chase the stage win, we could let the sprinters’ teams work. It was nowhere as hard as we were expecting. We were already seeing it close after Saturday’s mountain finish, but clinching this success today is an immense joy for us. It is even better when you share a podium with your brother, Nairo, for the first since you became a pro. I dream that this can happen a lot in the future.

 

"I felt good in this stage, but fortunately life was not made too difficult. We had no interest in the stage win so we left it to others to control the race. I'm happy for this victory and to be on the podium with Nairo. We have been working very hard and this is the deserved reward for our efforts.

 

“I think the history doesn’t have many brothers who were able to win the same race .For me this result is very gratifying. To be on the podium with my brother who in recent seasons has won the Tour of Italy and was on the podium of the Tour de France is a great satisfaction. Furthermore, this race is in South America and it’s exciting to have compatriots at my side.

 

“We’ve worked so hard, ever since I became a pro and especially this winter, to come to such races in good condition - I’m really feeling like this is giving us a reward for those efforts. People who support me already knew what I could to; today, many more people will know my name, and I hope we can bring them some happiness during the next few years. For the time being, we must enjoy this victory: life is lived one step at a time.

 

"Well, it's complicated [to be stronger than Nair]. To compare myself to himis like comparing two cars from different eras. He is older but I dream about reaching his level and I will do my best to get closer to what he has won and will win.

 

“I dedicate this success probably to most of the same people I did yesterday when I got the jersey: my squad, Movistar Team; my family and wife; and above all, Adriano - I’m so happy to see he’s been doing much better in the last few hours. Good and bitter moments gathered during this week, but you learn from every single of them. Undoubtedly, this is my biggest victory so far - these days will be unforgettable.”

 

Quintana plans to support Alejandro Valverde in the Giro d’Italia.

 

Mareczko: I was working for Viviani

It was the first season victory for Jakub Mareczko.

 

“I had to do the lead-out for Elia. In the end we lost each other so I decided to pass on the left and in the end I found myself shoulder to shoulder with Elia just meters from the finish. And we arrived in a photo finish. I wanted to start the season with a victory to give continuity to what I did in 2015.”

 

Mareczko confirmed that his next races will be the Vuelta Valenciana and the Tour de Langkawi and dedicated his victory "to those who always supports me and Southeast."

 

“I am really happy with this victory it is really important and I will take it going into the rest of the season. I want to dedicate this victory to the people that follow me and the team.”

 

Sepulveda: It was important to start the season well

"I lost by a few seconds compared to the best Colombian riders." 

 

This is the first comment of Eduardo Sepulveda after finishing second in the Tour de San Luis behind only Dayer Quintana. The balance for the Fortuneo-Vital Concept rider is positive and gives him confidence for the rest of the season.

 

"I hope that this race was a sign of a good season. It was important for me to start off well as I had not been racing for four months after suffered a fractured tibia in Italy in mid-September. I feel ready and confident ahead of my big goals that are Paris - Nice, probably the Tour de France and - I hope - the Olympic Games in Rio.

 

"I would have liked to win, but things are as they are and I have to be happy to be with these two great riders.”

 

Viviani refuses to attend podium ceremony and apologizes

The Italian national team gave a bad impression at the end of the Tour de San Luis. After Mareczko and Viviani had been sprinting against each other in the final stage, team captain Viviani didn’t attend the podium ceremony.

 

He has now apologized on Twitter.

 

“With a cool head, I apologise to all the fans, to the Tour de San Luis, and to the Italian Cycling Federation for my bad gesture,” he wrote.

 

“I wasn’t myself, I wasn’t expecting it and I was enraged and out of control. The decision I made was the wrong one, but I did it because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to control myself.

 

“That said, there will be people who think I don’t deserve the azzurra [Italian blue] jersey, but others who know how much I do for the azzurra jersey.”

 

Nairo Quintana: If we can’t win with one, we do it with the other

Nairo Quintana finished third behind his brother and teammate Dayer.

 

“I’m very happy. I’ve been directing him since he was a kid and I brought him to where he is right now. So, to see him in a higher position them me makes me very proud,” Quintana said. “This victory has been like one of my own. Dayer has won and this was the intention of the team. If we can’t do it with one then we do it with the other. It is the first time that we have been together on the podium.

 

“Dayer has demonstrated what he can do. He has done very difficult races, classics which are very difficult for him, like Paris-Roubaix and he has got through, and today he has demonstrated what he can achieve and what he can do.

 

”I'm excited to see him not one but two steps above me. I am proud and both my father and the rest of the family will be mad and full of emotion, more than if I had won.

 

“This victory is for Adriano. I hope that he responds well to treatment and to find him in the races soon. We are particularly attached as he was at my side in the Giro, the Tirreno and the Tour. We miss him and regret to have to leave him here in a hospital. Before taking the flight home, we're going to visit him, to shake his hand and give him some 'of our strength. We are a team. Forza Adriano!

 

“Now I will go to Madrid for the presentation of the team.  I will return to Colombia for the national championships and then will face a series of races in my country.”

 

Small step for impressive Lopez, Nibali finds good feelings

"Yesterday's victory and the jersey for Best Young Rider represent a small step forward for the future. I'm growing and I can still improve,” said Miguel Angel Lopez.

 

The young talented Colombian finished in fourth position in the general classification of the Tour de San Luis, only 38 seconds gap behind the race winner Dayer Quintana.

 

"The balance is positive,” commented Astana sports director Paolo Slongo. “In addition to the victory, everyone worked well and everyone has done his role in the team profitably .

"Lopez confirmed to be an interesting young and growing rider and also Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev made a good performancem always helping his teammates and finishing with the best in the two mountain stages.”

 

"As for Vincenzo Nibali, we knew that he was not competitive compared to athletes from South America, but we were looking for good feelings and we found them.”

 

No rainbow victory for satisfied Sagan in San Luis

Tinkoff's sport directors had positive comments on this first competition of the year which allowed to assess the form of its riders. Team leaders at the Argentinean race, Peter Sagan and Rafal Majka, have positively evaluated their performance in view of the season's main goals.

 

A 119 km final stage which started and finished in San Luis, concluded the tenth edition of Tour San Luis. It took the peloton to the parcours only climb, 15 km from the start and then to a flat street circuit that was circled five times. Tinkoff's squad worked hard to keep the race under control, bring back the breakaway and safely position Peter Sagan for the fast bunch sprint. The world champion was squeezed out in the closing meters of the finale by Elia Viviani and Jakub Mareczko, with the latter taking the stage victory in a close photo finish, while Sagan came in fourth.

 

Patxi Vila, leading sport director of Tinkoff in Argentina had a positive overall assessment of the team's performance. "Today the team did a great job in the morning to keep the race under control and arrive all together in the sprint, which was very, very fast. However, looking back at the whole week the assessment is positive, we put several kilometers of the race in our legs with good weather conditions and without any injuries, as we are one of the few teams that was not affected by the falls in the previous days".

 

"Peter Sagan proved his good form with two fourth and one second place. Likewise Majka raced a good Tour de San Luis, especially if we consider he was competing against South American riders who are used to this heat and to whom this is a race which means a lot. The physical condition ahead of the Giro d'Italia seems to be fine, we are on a good track. Anyway, the whole team worked well, Trusov, Hansen, Poljanski and Bodnar supported the two team leaders in the best possible way and in view of the upcoming races, it's very important they already have this race in their legs", concluded Vila.

 

Peter Sagan, in his first race of the season wearing the rainbow jersey, commented on the team's performance. "Today we worked well, we would have liked to end with a win but I'm afraid that was not possible. Anyway, I'm glad that in today's bunch sprint there were no crashes considering it was very fast. The final outcome of this Tour de San Luis is good. I am satisfied with how the week went in view of the upcoming big goals of the season".

 

Breakthrough for Belarusian climber in San Luis

Ilia Koshevoy will return to Europe from Argentina with an important 5th place in the final general classification of the Tour de San Luis. This result was achieved especially thanks to the impressive performances by the Belarusian rider in the two summit finishes of the South American race (5th at Cerro el Amago in the 4th stage and 4th in Merlo in the 6th stage).

For the LAMPRE-MERIDA riderm this is the first top 5 in a stage race in his career. It is is even more important considering that the fight for the overall classification victory saw the South American climbers being protagonists. The race was won by Dayer Quintana, 1'42" ahead of Koshevoy

The young blue-fuchsia-green rider had no problem to defend the 5th place in the final stage in which the duo of sprinters from LAMPRE-MERIDA Cimolai-Ferrari could not deliver a quality performance. The first rider from sports director Orlando Maini's team to cross the finish line was Mohoric in 17th.

The greatest satisfactions for LAMPRE-MERIDA in Argentina came from Koshevoy, but the good performances from Mohoric, the 11th place of Ferrari in the 2nd stage and the 7th position of Cimolai in the 5th stage were valuable too.

 

Richeze takes over sprinting duties from Gaviria in San Luis

The 32-year-old Maximilano Richeze proved he still has the speed to be among the protagonists on a flat finish.

 

Etixx – Quick-Step enjoyed an excellent start to this year's Tour de San Luis, storming to the win in the stage 1 team time trial and propelling Maximiliano Richeze in the leader's jersey, for the first time in his career. One day later, in Villa Mercedes, the Argentinean did a fine work to launch Fernando Gaviria to his maiden pro victory (and the third in the South American event). Unfortunately, the team's luck changed in the second half of the race, in a moment when Gaviria was hunting his second stage success, while Rodrigo Contreras was third in the standings and was also leading the U23 classification. Both were involved in the stage 5 crash that occurred with 30 kilometers to go and the injuries they sustained meant the end of their spell in San Luis.

 

Following that incident, the team took it easy on the second and last mountain stage, before coming again at the forefront on the final day of the event (San Luis – San Luis, 119.6 kilometers). On Sunday, January 24th, the sprinters' teams were in control all the time and reeled in the break. Also Etixx – Quick-Step was among the protagonists in the finale, bringing Maximiliano Richeze in a good position, which allowed the 32-year-old to sprint to 5th in the stage, a result that left him satisfied.

 

“Tour de San Luis was my first race of season, and I couldn't have asked for more on a personal note. To wear the leader's jersey was the main highlight for me, but maybe even more important was that the team clicked right from the beginning and knew how to react regardless of the situation. It's a pity Fernando and Rodrigo had to abandon, but I'm sure they will return stronger from this, and with a huge motivation to prove themselves."

 

Ill Talansky abandons in San Luis

Andrew Talansky fell ill overnight - fever, congestion, cough - and did not start the final stage of Tour de San Luis today. Cannondale still left the race with a 10th place for Andre Cardoso in the overall standings.

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