Paris-Nice (st. 5) / Tirreno (st. 3)
After misfortune took him out of contention on Thursday, the Colombian fought for day’s win at the only mountain-top finish in Paris-Nice; mountains coming up tomorrow at Tirreno-Adriatico
Following a crash that ruined his overall chances in the 2013 edition of Paris-Nice, Nairo Quintana fought for the day’s win until the final kilometers of stage six, the only mountain-top finish in this year’s French race at La Montagne de Lure (Cat. 1). The Colombian rider from the Movistar Team always rode at the front during the last climb -a 13k ascent after five other categorized climbs through the 176km of racing-, responding himself to the attacks by Richie Porte (SKY) and race leader Andrew Talansky (GRM), the two most active riders in the moves.
Less than 2k from the finish, Porte went away alone, and despite the attempts from Talansky and Quintana to approac him, the Australian, who beat Menchov (KAT) as the Russian had tried to open his gap earlier, won with more than thirty seconds over the rest of the favourites’ group, where Nairo finished in 8th spot. Paris-Nice is now entering the final weekend of competition, with Porte in the lead, as the mountain TT towards the Col d’Eze on Sunday is preceeded by a hard, long trek on Saturday: 220km between Manosque and Niza, with five climbs though the latter one will be tackled more than 70k from the finish.
Still up-front overall before the mountains in Italy
The big climbs will be on the day’s menu tomorrow at Tirreno-Adriatico, the other WorldTour race taking place this week. Day four of the prestigious Italian competition will offer a 173km profile from Narni to Prati di Tivo, with its 14k at an average 7% concluding a route that also features the ascents of Sella di Corno –in the opening phase- and Capannelle, whose descent will lead into the last uphill. Slovak Peter Sagan (CAN) took the day’s honours at the second consecutive sprint in the race, with Fran Ventoso unable to contest after a puncture with 3k to go. Mark Cavendish (OPQ) is still on top of a GC with no big changes: Dowsett, Intxausti, Cobo, Capecchi, Ventoso and Castroviejo –Amador is just few seconds behind his team-mates- are now 20 seconds behind in places seven to thirteen.