Tirreno-Adriatico (st. 6)
Nairo Quintana saves final obstacle as crash splits last Tirreno-Adriatico sprint in Porto Sant’Elpidio, will fight for the overall podium at Tuesday’s ITT in San Benedetto
“I will try to defend myself on tomorrow’s stage – I will give my best in the TT to keep my podium place.” In short and clear terms spoke Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) his mind after stage six of Tirreno-Adriatico, a predominantly flat, 189km route from Bucchianico to Porto Sant’Elpidio where the Colombian rider from the telephone squad, always well protected by his team-mates, kept the provisional 2nd place overall obtained yesterday.
He didn’t do it without obstacles. Danger, in the shape of a crash into the last turn, a 90º corner to the right, saw several riders losing balance and splitting the bunch, with Nairo in the first units. The sprint, overshadowed by the incident and the pace through the last ascent of the day -where Marcel Kittel (GIA), one of the big favourites, got dropped- was claimed by Manxman Mark Cavendish (OPQ).
With all time gaps neutralized after the crash, Quintana will start tomorrow with 7″ over Kreuziger (TCS), 31secs on Arredondo (TFR) and 32″ ahead of Péraud (ALM) in the 9.150m individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto, an entirely urbano, flat route with very few turns where the Boyacá-raised rider will defend a prestigious GC podium in the ‘Corsa dei Due Mari.’