Tour de San Luis (st. 3)
Movistar Team's three main climbers -Dani 8th, Dayer 9th, Nairo 14th- remain in San Luis' overall top-ten after making selected group after Potrero climb; Dutchman from Drapac squad takes over GC lead following long break
Dutchman Peter Koning (DPC) took an unexpected lead in the 10th Tour de San Luis after taking a long breakaway to fruition in La Punta, with 1'37" over a small group including all main favourites.
Stage three, a short 130km, had a decisive point in the Mirador del Potrero (Cat-2), a 5km ascent with gentle slopes -no more than 7% at sections- which the lone escapee managed well to leave behind a selected peloton, with only about twenty riders inside.
Three of the Movistar Team riders -Dani Moreno, 8th across the line; Dayer Quintana, 9th; and Nairo Quintana, 14th- resisted the chasing pace from the Astana and Tinkoff squads, Nairo even responding to a move from Vincenzo Nibali (AST), and completed the descent safely to conserve places five, six and seven overall, 30" behind Koning and 8" after Rodrigo Contreras (EQS), 4th in the GC and first of the climbers who will aspire to the green leader's jersey on Thursday's first mountain showdown.
In turn, Marc Soler crossed the line 2'12" in arrears, now just off the GC top-ten as things will surely change for many at the Cerro El Amago. The 11km ascent, 7% average, will take the 140km stage four to a close.
Nairo Quintana: "We tried to break the bunch apart, but we ultimately came pretty much all together. The pace from the foot of Potrero was already high, with plenty of attacks; some by ourselves, then Nibali, another one by Rodolfo Torres – yet none of them opened a real gap, and sprinters like Gaviria or Sagan made it to the summit into the front group, so our only chance was getting through the descent without any troubles. Tomorrow's stage will be quite different, really another story. There will surely be some gaps, just live every year. Heat will play a massive factor, it will be hard for all of us – let's hope none of the team are affected in a bad way by it."