Vuelta a Burgos (st. 5)
Huge exhibition by Quintana at Queen stage of Vuelta a Burgos grants him the overall win after impressive work all day from Movistar Team
PICTURES | Vuelta a Burgos gallery
The hard work from Movistar Team through the whole 35th Vuelta a Burgos was paid back on Sunday with a resounding success by Nairo Quintana. The Colombian proved one more time in the 2013 season his impressive climbing abilities after a restless, 170-kilometer trek on the Queen stage of the Spanish event, with no less than seven rated climbs. The telephone squad took control of the situation from the beginning, with Gutiérrez, Jesús Herrada, Intxausti and Plaza neutralizing the original, five-man breakaway into the Cat-1 climb of Pasil de Rozavientos, 30k from the finish. The 17-rider elite group at the summit still contained four Blue units, as José Herrada, Szmyd and a remarkable Visconti protected Quintana perfectly to the foot of Neila, when an attack from Nibali (AST) took Basso (CAN), Arroyo (CJR) and Nairo with him.
A second acceleration from Arroyo with less than 3k remaining forced Nibali to react, countering the Spaniard’s move and taking Quintana on his wheel. Nairo kept the pace extremely high and pushed solo until the very line to increase the gap -the GC already decided on his favour- to half a minute over Arroyo. The Movistar Team leader -Blues upping their season tally to 28, just one victory less than the whole 2012 season- claims his sixth win of the year (second GC after País Vasco) and the 15th in his short pro career, before heading to Colombia on Tuesday to prepare for the late-season races and receive national honours following a joy-filled 2013.
REACTION / Nairo Quintana: “It all turned out perfectly, just like we planned it before starting the race. We were hoping to lose as little time as possible in the days prior to this stage to try and win the race on the Queen one. The climb suits lighter specialists well, and the team worked perfectly so I could deliver. It’s not that I was fearing of losing, but with such strong rivals, in great condition leading up to the Vuelta a España, I had some doubts about being able to stay on their wheel or lose it. I spent the whole stage at the front and that costs you some more energy, but when I saw them losing a bit of spirit, I attacked and it all came to fruition. The team was sensational: they supported me throughout the race so I did neither suffer crashes nor lost any time, and they were protecting me until the last climb today – I was really calm thanks to them. They relied on me all season long – they were even more convinced of my own chances than myself. They really knew that, when we were committed to win, we would be doing our best and achieve it. Now it’s time to travel back to Colombia, take a bit of rest and getting into preparations for the Worlds.”