Tirreno-Adriatico (st. 6)
Nairo Quintana, Movistar Team successfully cover long, demanding stage six in Tirreno-Adriatico, keep the Maglia Azzurra before Wednesday's 10km TT showdown in San Benedetto
Again under cold and rain and even with some dangerous moves from their rivals GC-wise, Nairo Quintana and Movistar Team got well through the last road stage in the 2015 Tirreno-Adriatico, 210km on mainly descending roads -despite including the Montelparo KOM halfway through the course- between Rieti and a final circuit in and around Porto Sant'Elpidio. Covered by his seven team-mates from the telephone squad, the Colombian defended himself from an attempt by the Tinkoff squad to break the field in the ascent prior to the finale, and later completed the course over the slippery, coastal roads, alien to the bunch sprint won by Slovakia's Peter Sagan (TCS).
Quintana has now only the 10km individual time trial in the 'lungomare' of San Benedetto del Tronto ahead, relying on the same time gaps with which he completed the grueling Terminillo ascent: 39" over Mollema (TFR); 48" ahead of Urán (EQS); 57" on Pinot (FDJ) and 1'03" over Contador (TCS). At that same time trial, Malori will try to claim what would be a second win for him in this year's 'Due Mari': "It would be really beautiful to leave this race with two victories – we'll give our very best to achieve it. I saw Fabian (Cancellara) doing really well into the bunch during the last few days; we were finishing practically together in the tough days and looking at that, I cannot say I'm the strongest into tomorrow's TT. It will be a nice fight and I hope to succeed again this time."
REACTION / Nairo Quintana: “It was a hard day, in a different way to what we saw yesterday, but demanding all the same. There were those attempts into the climb by Alberto and his team, wanting to test us and see if any time gaps could be created, but our team stayed mostly compact, the bunch didn't really break up much and we got over the day well. I felt well over today's course and tomorrow's TT, should everything go as I plan, without any incidents, it shouldn't be extremely hard for me to defend this jersey. It's not a bad TT course for me, either, not a long one at all, and the wear and tear from the last two days wasn't only for me, but for everyone. I think I'm in good condition and I'll give my very best tomorrow for the overall."
TT start times (local): Ventoso 13.30, Moreno 14.33, Malori 14.44, Amador 15.03, Herrada 15.09, Visconti 15.23, Castroviejo 15.33, Quintana 15.59.