3rd place for Movistar Team leader in Argentina -well recovered from stomach problems- after Arredondo-Stetina duo jumps away from the Colombian in the Potrero finale
After suffering in the last few days due to gastroenteritis, which caused him strong pain during the opening stage of the 8th Tour de San Luis, the Colombian rider from the Movistar Team bounced back into great fitness on Tuesday during the first mountain-top finish in the Argentinean race: the Mirador de Potrero de los Funes, ending point of a 170km stage two starting at La Punta, which saw a five-man break never getting more than five minutes of advantage due to rigid control from race leader Phil Gaimon’s Garmin squad.
After an attack by Damiano Caruso (CAN), responded by the telephone squad’s riders, Arredondo (TFR) and Stetina (BMC) took advantage in the second part of the climb within the lack of order in the group. Quintana kept insisting to keep things under control, and would end up being rewarded with the day’s third place, just three seconds behind his compatriot.
Nairo sits now in 7th place (4.19 back) in the general classification, still led by American Gaimon -just eight seconds behind Arredondo at today’s finish-, things still to change much in five demanding, hot days in South America. Wednesday will nevertheless mark another shot for the sprinters on stage three:176km from Tilisarao to Juana Koslay.
REACTION / Nairo Quintana: “I had already felt better in my stomach when I woke up in the morning. I had a better night than the other day and that was the most important thing for me, so pain would draw back. I felt well during the stage and the team was always bby my side, protecting me and taking wind away as it was a massive factor today – all the heat and the route making things harder. The pace through the climb was really fast, and when the two at the front went away, no one would cooperate to chase them back. I saved some energy to see if any other rider would attack so we could chase them back, but it didn’t happen and I could only finish my work and take 3rd into the sprint. I’m happy with the result and I hope to contest a stage win in the upcoming days. We will try to take time back on the leader, though he’s shown to be strong by climbing with us and his team supported him all the way to the finish.”