Volta a Catalunya (st. 7)
Nairo Quintana claims 4th in the Volta’s final overall after Scarponi (LAM) gets behind his back at the final circuit in Montjuïc
Movistar Team sticked as long as they could to the 93th Volta a Catalunya, which ended up hiding its glory to them in the very last moment after several dramatical turns over the week. The big joy from the one-two achieved atop Vallter 2000, with Valverde -later abandoning, together with Capecchi, after a disgraced crash- and Nairo Quintana, brave with attacks in every chance he had, was not awarded with an overall podium the young Colombian fought for until the final kilometers.
Quintana was relegated to fourth in the general classification, just nine seconds behind the best three -final winner Dan Martin (GRS), Joaquim Rodríguez (KAT) and Michele Scarponi (LAM)-, after a hard stage seven, 122km from El Vendrell to a circuit in Barcelona, with eight climbs towards the Cat. 3 Alt de Montjuïc. A dangerous, five-man attempt, including Scarponi himself, jeopardized the bunch’s chances for victory and also Nairo’s, the rider from Boyacá attacking with three laps remaining.
His move, accompanied by another excellent performance from José Herrada -brave and every-dependable throughout the week-, was not able to get the gap back on the escape, with Belgian Thomas De Gendt (VCD) outsprinting the rest of the quartet while Quintana’s group came across the finish with a 22-second loss that made his ten before the day’s stage insufficient. The good feelings are still there, and Nairo has won prestige and confidence this week as one of the best young climbers in the pro scene.