Second overall title in Argentina
Dayer Quintana claims Latin America's biggest race for the Blues -only team to secure two GC victories-, walks onto podium together with brother Nairo (3rd) after excellent collective performance -teams' winners-, yet unfortunate due to Adriano Malori's accident; Italian safely on path to recovery
No challenges showed up during the 119km closing stage – a semi-urban course around the province's capital – as Dayer Quintana was able to celebrate, together with his Movistar Team-mates, the final success in the 10th Tour de San Luis, first win for the telephone squad in 2016 and second overall title in Argentina for the only squad able to claim multiple victories in the highest-ranked Latin American cycling event.
The Boyacá-born rider's display, respaldado hoy un día más por su hermano Nairo, Dani Moreno, Marc Soler y Fran Ventoso, was based on resistance and regularity. Despite his less strong point being time trials, he was able to keep the pace together with more experienced companions to gain an advantage on the opening TTT (2nd). He later attacked to help Nairo out, ultimately feeling forced to respond by his own chances against a superior Eduardo Sepúlveda in the Cerro El Amago (4th). Lastly, on Saturday, and following Adriano Malori's horrible accident –now steadily recovering-, Dayer was able to make up his short gap to the Argentinian (3rd) and seize control of the green jersey, with invaluable help from the 2014 overall victor.
The riders directed by José Luis Jaimerena will travel back to Spain on Monday with an added prize as they claimed the teams' overall classification. His friend Adriano will remain in memory, though, and was surely a huge boost of motivation after the incident towards Juana Koslay, a bitter moment which may fortunately be left behind soon.
Dayer Quintana: “These are really nice feelings – utter happiness. Thank God, everything went really well today. There wasn’t so much fight in today’s stage to make the break, the split was formed after a few kilometers, and without any interest from ourselves to chase the stage win, we could let the sprinters’ teams work. It wasn’t nowhere as hard as we were expecting. We were already seeing it close after Saturday’s mountain finish, but clinching this success today is an immense joy us. It is even better when you share a podium with your brother, Nairo, for the first since you became a pro. I dream that this can happen a lot in the future.
“We’ve worked so hard, ever since I became a pro and especially this winter, to come to such races in good conditions – I’m really feeling like this is giving us a reward for those efforts. People who support me already knew what I could to; today, many more people will know my name, and I hope we can bring them some happiness during the next few years. For the time being, we must enjoy this victory: life is lived one step at a time.
“I dedicate this success probably to most of the same people I did yesterday when I got the jersey: my squad, Movistar Team; my family and wife; and above all, Adriano – I’m so happy to see he’s been doing much better in the last few hours. Good and bitter moments gatheres during this week, but you learn from every single of them. Undoubtedly, this is my biggest victory so far – these days will be unforgettable.”