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"I think Darwin is still the team leader and he has shown he is climbing better on the longer five to 10-kilometer climbs. But it's better that we have two cards to play instead of one now," Stetina says

Photo: BMC Racing Team (Continuum Sports, LLC)






22.01.2014 @ 14:29 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Peter Stetina started his career as a BMC rider in a great way when he finished 2nd on the first mountain stage of the Tour de San Luis. Having only been beaten by Julian Arredondo (Trek) in the uphill sprint, however, he refuses to take on the captaincy role and insists that Darwin Atapuma is still the main rider for the GC.


It was a great day for BMC on the first mountain stage of the Tour de San Luis. On the final climb, Mirador del Potrero, Peter Stetina was the first rider to attack and only Julian Arredondo (Trek) responded. The duo managed to stay away to the finish while BMC's GC leader Darwin Atapuma finished 4th, 3 seconds back.


Stetina attacked in the final kilometers of the 170.6-km race after the peloton swallowed up the remnants of a five-man breakaway.


"It was a really bad headwind on the climb, so no one was moving that much," he said. "I looked at Darwin and he nodded that he was good, so I decided to attack first. I thought it would either break it up or he could come up to me because in the headwind everyone was having such a draft on the climb."


But only Arredondo followed and the pair dueled it out in the final few meters. Stetina went to his sprint first, only to be overtaken just before the line.


"He (Arredondo) wasn't interested in working," he said. "It was a good tactical move on his part. I wanted to keep the pace high if the pace got hard behind."


Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) and Atapuma finished three seconds later while Stage 1 winner Philip Gaimon (Garmin-Sharp) held onto the overall lead by 1:47 over Marc de Maar (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team). Stetina climbed into fourth overall, 4:16 back.


Atapuma, who joins Stetina as newcomers to the BMC Racing Team this season, said he was content to watch his teammate go on the attack.


"Everything was like the plan we did in the morning with our sport director," he said. "For sure it was a pity that Peter did not win the stage because we worked at the best together for this goal. But on the other hand, I’m sure that we are on the way to getting good results soon."


BMC Racing Team Sport Director Jackson Stewart said the team's No. 1 goal was to protect Atapuma.


"But the guys had freedom to try something and Stetina did. It just didn't pay off for him," he said. "It was a great ride, but I think he's going to be hitting his head for not making the other guy work because he pulled him to the line."


Stetina said the result won't change who the team is working for in the two remaining summit finishes on Thursday and Saturday.


"I think Darwin is still the team leader and he has shown he is climbing better on the longer five to 10-kilometer climbs," he said. "But it's better that we have two cards to play instead of one now."


The race continues with a stage for the sprinters today, with BMC likely to play the Taylor Phinney card in the uphill drag to the line.



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