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"I was alone with the two of them so I had to pay a lot of attention. I am still young and I need to learn a lot but I think that I can continue to beat them."

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AG2R CITROEN TEAM

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ALEXIS VUILLERMOZ

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ANDRÉ FERNANDO MARTINS CARDOSO

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ASTANA QAZAQSTAN TEAM

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DAYER QUINTANA

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EF EDUCATION - EASYPOST

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MATEJ MOHORIC

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MIGUEL ANGEL LOPEZ

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MOVISTAR TEAM

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NAIRO QUINTANA

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QUICK-STEP - ALPHA VINYL

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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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24.01.2016 @ 16:44 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) confirmed his status as one of the future climbing stars when he conquered the Tour de San Luis queen stage after a Colombian showdown. Having joined forces with the Quintana brothers to drop overall leader Eduardo Sepulveda (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) on the final climb, he beat his two companions in the 3-rider sprint while third place was enough for Dayer Quintana (Movistar) to take the overall lead with just one sprint stage to go.

 

We have gathered several reactions.

 

Lopez: I think I can continue to beat the Quintanas in the future

"Starting the last climb, I was not feeling very well, but then I found the pace and in the end I was ready to win,” said Miguel Angel Lopez.

 

"I have to thank the whole team and in particular Vincenzo Nibali who gave me a great help in the first kilometers of the climb.

 

"First I want to thank the team that worked in the last 50 km of stage and especially Vincenzo Nibali who did a great job in setting the pace and let me start the climb in the front positions. Today we faced a very nervous stage, characterized by heat and wind. The break had a big gap but my teammates were exceptional. I'm really happy.

 

“It was a really complicated stage. There was a lot of wind during and the last 20 kilometres were really difficult. The strategy of the team was to work for me and they trusted in me to do well in this stage. We tried make the pace hard on the climb and for this we had to try to stay at the front. Vincenzo helped a lot throughout the whole stage. We knew that it was the last chance that we had in order to try to go move up the general classification because tomorrow will just be a sprint.

 

"The team trusted me and was looking for a stage win. The GC was difficult but the idea was to stay ahead and have Nibali make the race hard. The race was decided today as tomorrow is for sprinter so I wanted to seize the last chance.

 

“In the beginning of the climb, there were nerves, everyone wanted to be ahead and it was windy. The team did a great job, Nibali was excellent.

 

“It was difficult because it is the first race that I have ever gone head to head with both Quintanas. It was not a surprise to see them there and it was very difficult because both Nairo and Dayer are very strong. I was alone with the two of them so I had to pay a lot of attention. I am still young and I need to learn a lot but I think that I can continue to beat them.

 

"It's hard to deal with two Quintanas. This was my first time against Nairo, but Dayer was very strong as well. I had to be very careful and I think I learned a lot for the future to measure myself against them. It will be a good show tomorrow.

 

"We defend our own interests, but it is an honor for Colombia. We live in the same apartment in Boyacá but we are not friends although we often train together.

 

“We are proud of our country and we think that we open a lot of opportunities for the young generations.

 

“I’m a young person and I think I expect to learn a lot with the Astana team and little by little to develop more as a sportsman and later, I need to race Grand Tours like the Vuelta, Giro or the Tour.” 

 

Lopez won the queen stage of this tenth edition of the Tour de San Luis by crossing the line first in Filo Sierra de Comenchigones at 2,140 meters above sea level.

 

"It’s a great satisfaction,” said sports director Alexander Shefer. “And comes after a week of racing in which the team has raced well and confirmed a good level of preparation.”

 

After this decisive stage, Dayer Quintana took the leader's jersey while Lopez is fourth overall and first in the ranking of the Best Young Riders.

 

Dayer Quintana: I am not here just because I am Nairo’s brother

Movistar Team made possible what, by virtue of Eduardo Sepúlveda’s (FVC) exhibition to tae the lead of the 2016 Tour de San Luis two days ago at the Cerro El Amago, seemed to be an utopia: taking a green jersey that could turn into the second overall victory in three years for the squad directed by Eusebio Unzué and José Luis Jaimerena. Dayer Quintana is the new leader after a big show of strength and courage over the 2,140m Filo Sierras Comechingones, end of the penultimate stage, combined with magnificent work from the whole telephone squad, especially Nairo Quintana, to carry him on wings towards place number one.

 

Set up perfectly on the foot of the long final ascent (16.6km) with support from Ventoso, Soler and Moreno, the two Colombians from the Movistar Team had to take their time and resist to initial attacks - a move from Rodolfo Torres (AND) was the most important - due to gusty winds often making the climb harder, until after halfway through the climb at the Mirador del Sol. There, Nairo Quintana shook up the field, dropped Sepúlveda and later joined his brother Dayer and fellow countryman Miguel Ángel López (AST). ‘Superman’ would beat the two over the line, with Nairo focusing on his brother losing as little time as possible.

 

The 19" gap between Dayer, third at the finish, and Sepúlveda, fifth, together with a four-second bonus, mean that the 23-year-old from the Movistar Team will start the 120km stage seven around San Luis with a 20” margin to secure his title. In turn, Nairo Quintana kept the third place he started the day off with - due to the abandonment of Rodrigo Contreras (EQS) - yet he will have only 3” on López if he wants to repeat his 2015 result.

 

“It was a hard stage right from the very start, with all the fight for the early break, the heat and the suffering due to the crosswinds,” Dayer said. “it was a nervous race and the climb was really a hell of a struggle for me. Fortunately, I was really well protected by all my team-mates - Fran, Marc, Dani - who made sure I reached the final climb in the best possible condition. 

 

“The responsibility was on me because Nairo was hurt and injured from yesterday. I spoke to Nairo and I also spoke to Dani Moreno because he knows Cordoba and this race, he has lived here for three years. I spoke to him a lot and he gave me good advice such as like how to protect yourself from the wind, about being alert about the weather and the strategy was not to attack at the bottom but closer to the finish.

 

“The strategy was to make Sepúlveda suffer so I could drop him, isolate him and then attack, and thanks to Nairo’s work, I could leave him behind. Both he and Dani Moreno, who knows the place well, gave me a lot of advice. Dani said it was better for me to try and make the moves in the final part of the climb, because otherwise, the winds would blow so much. 

 

”It seemed like impossible that I could snatch the leader’s jersey, but I’m really close to this win and it’s unbelievable. It’s something I’ve been fighting for a lot of time, after I suffered for most of the 2015 season, and I really deserved it - let’s hope I can bring this home. It's a tribute to Adriano - we miss him so much and hope he'll heal fast and feel perfectly well very soon.

 

“I felt much happier than yesterday to be the virtual leader, it is a great moral boost. I will go into tomorrow’s stage calm and relaxed and we will expect to get a good result.

 

“I'm really proud of what has been done today by me and the team after the terrible stage yesterday. I proved my worth, I'm not part of this strong team because I am Nairo’s brother. More than taking a load off me it is a realisation for me. Being the brother of Nairo isn’t a load but it gives me a goal and maybe I can be like him and achieve what he has done. I think that I need to go step by step. When you pass through the finish what goes through your mind is all the sacrifices that you’ve done but then you feel really good about the victory.”

 

Ilya Koshevoy confirms climbing potential against the stars in San Luis

Among the protagonists of the sixth and decisive stage of the Tour de San Luis were two young riders from Lampre-MERIDA: Matej Mohorič with a long-distance attack and Ilia Koshevoy with a great climbing performance.

 

The Slovenian world champion in the junior (2012) and Under 23 (2013) ranks joined the break with Grosu and Magallanes, touching a maximum lead of 7 minutes, but he was brought back on the lower slopes of the final climb.
 

At that point, the Slovenian ideally passed the blue-fuchsia-green baton  to his teammate Koshevoy who gave confirmation of the interesting signs offered in the stage to Cerro el Amago.


The Belarusian exceeded expectations by crossing the finish line in 4th position, just 23 "behind the winner, and thus ascending to 5th place in the general classification (20" behind Dayer Quintana).

 

In the final stage, Lampre-Merida hope for sprint success with either Roberto Ferrari or Davide Cimolai.

 

Majka satisfied despite being blown off the road in summit finish

Rafal Majka crossed the finish line in today's stage in seventh place, trailing winner Miguel Lopez by 58 seconds. It was a very tough penultimate stage with a demanding final climb, made even more complicated by a stiff headwind which gave the riders a hard time and caused Majka to fall with 6 km to go.

 

A final 16 km climb with an average gradient of 7.8% and peaks at 12%, marked the stage from La Toma  to Filo Sierras Comechingones, a 159.5 km ride that put a strain on the riders that also had to battle against a nasty headwind.

 

A three-man breakaway formed today after multiple attacks but was brought back without any major difficulty by the group in the initial kilometers of the final climb. The peloton was fragmented at the finish with an all-Colombian podium, proving the good condition of the South American riders.

 

"The stage played out the way we had expected" - commented sport director Patxi Vila - "and right to the bottom of the last climb we were in a good position with Majka, Poljanski and Hansen. Rafal probably started a little too soon on the Comechingones, but he felt he wanted to give it a try this and that's fine because we are still in January and you have to test your condition. Later on, he had a minor accident on the climb when he was swept by the fierce wind. He had to make an effort to get back and he paid the price for it. Anyway, I think our condition is very good considering it's the beginning of the season and we are on the right track."

 

"Today I don't think it was too bad", added Majka, "we are happy with our performance, and I have to thank my teammates because they did a great job by keeping me out of the wind throughout the day."

 

"Towards the end I lacked some energy, however it is normal since we are in January, so I'm happy with my form being early in the season. Now we'll see how things go in the next races."

 

"We hope that Peter Sagan tomorrow", sums up Rafal, "can ride a good stage, because the course is very suited to his characteristics".

 

The final stage of Tour San Luis, sees the start and the finish line in San Luis, capital of the province of Cujo. A relatively simple and slightly hilly course, with only one KOM of 3rd category that is expected to finish in a bunch sprint.

 

Cardoso brought down by the wind in San Luis queen

After a solid performance in the first mountain stage, Cannondale leader Andre Cardoso lost time in the queen stage where he had to settle for 13th, 12 seconds behind teammate Andrew Talansky. He is now 10th overall.

 

“Near the conclusion of the Tour de San Luis, I feel quite satisfied with the performance of the whole team and the place in GC. Yesterday was not the perfect day, far from it. On the final climb there was a strong wind and as everyone knows, I am climbing much out of the saddle and had to put a foot on the ground when I was blown off road. When I was close to the leading group, the wind brought me down. That cost me the chance to fight for the top 5. I was 13th in the stage and am still 10th overall. Today we have the final 120km,” he wrote on Facebook.

 

Vuillermoz still off the pace in San Luis

Alexis Vuillermoz has been unable to follow the best climbers in the Tour de San Luis and it was no different in the queen stage where he had to settle for 15th.

 

“To sum up the day, I came up a little short in following the best but I was not far behind at the finish. In short, I am 12th overall and I want to thank the team again for helping me throughout the day. Tomorrow’s last stage is theoretically reserved for sprinters,” he wrote on Facebook.

 

Quiet day for injured Etixx-QuickStep team in San Luis

The Etixx – Quick-Step riders still in the Tour de San Luis – Maximiliano Richeze, Fabio Sabatini, Stijn Vandenbergh and Lukasz Wisniowski – had an off-day and took it easy in order to recover following Friday’s crash, which led to the retirement of Rodrigo Contreras and stage 2 winner Fernando Gaviria, both injured in that pile-up. All four finished safely and will now turn their attention to stage 7 (San Luis – San Luis, 119.6 kilometers), the last of the race.

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