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Late mayhem hampers Quintana on stage one

7 July 2018
Imagen de la noticia ‛Late mayhem hampers Quintana on stage one’

Tour de France (st. 1)

Colombian Movistar Team rides over traffic island less than 4km before Fontenay-le-Comte’s finish; loses 1’15” against main group in opening stage. Gaviria (QST) takes yellow after sprint win.

A handful of unfortunate events made for a significant time loss for Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) right at the start of the 2018 Tour de France. In what had previously been a quite calm stage one -201km from Noirmoutier to Fontenay-le-Comte-, the Colombian and his team-mates suffered several setbacks which took the ‘Cóndor’ out of the main group into the very last kilometers.

A first crash, happening 10km before the end, caught Imanol Erviti and José Joaquín Rojas, the latter -together with Daniele Bennati- covering Quintana prior, away from any incidents. The three Blue leaders remained into a front group from which Bernal (SKY), Porte (BMC), Adam Yates (MTS) or even Chris Froome (SKY) were dropped back by subsequent incidents. However, as Nairo had rode over a traffic island with just under 4km to go, the Colombian broke his two wheels and had to stop and change them before the ‘safety zone’ of the final three kilometers.

Quickly helped by the neutral service and later on by the Movistar Team car, which had been held back as many groups were scattered on their way, Quintana -which Bennati and Amador waited for and helped until the finish- got to the second group and finish 1’15” behind the first main bunch, featuring Mikel Landa and Alejandro Valverde. The Eusebio Unzué-led squad will try to bounce back and continue fighting, starting with Sunday stage two -182km to La Roche-sur-Yon-, where the sprinters will again play a significant role.

REACTIONS:

Nairo Quintana: “I rode over a kerb just before the last three kilometers, had both wheels broken and it was impossible for me to continue riding that way, I had to stop. Sadly, things went that way – there’s no other thing left for us but carry on and try to recover in the upcoming stages.”

Mikel Landa:It’s a catastrophe for us. The initial three quarters of the stage were really calm, but the finale was truly eventful, with lots of nerves; it was difficult to manage our way through safely. Things like what happened to Nairo are something you never expect at the moment they happen, and it’s really awful. We’ll have to think we’re still on stage one out of 21, and what happened to us today might turn around in the upcoming days. Let’s keep focus, continue to work hard and go day-by-day before the mountains.

Eusebio Unzué: “Nairo struck a traffic divider with 600, 700 meters before the 3km banner, broke both wheels and couldn’t continue. Initially, he was helped out by the neutral service, but before our car got back to him, with a significant delay because the race was torn into pieces and there were lots of groups out of the road, he couldn’t get back on his bike racing. The worst thing about this is that the previous incidents made things even harder for us. A crash 3km before Nairo’s affected José Joaquín Rojas, which was the man who had to lend him a bike in case of any misfortune. The riders ahead of Nairo stopped immediately. The only positive conclusion we can draw from this is that neither Nairo nor his team-mates suffered any injuries and we’re otherwise safe. Sadly, we know how things work in the Tour, and other GC contenders, not only him, have already suffered setbacks today.”

Picture (c): Luca Bettini + Kei Tsuji / BettiniPhoto.net

Male Team 07 - 29 Jul

Tour de France FRA

(1st Stage) Noirmoutier - Fontenay-le-Comte (201 km)
  1. 01 Fernando Gaviria Quick Step 4h23'32"
  2. 02 Peter Sagan Bora-Hansgrohe "
  3. 03 Marcel Kittel Katusha-Alpecin "
  4. 32 Mikel Landa Movistar Team "
  5. 38 Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team "
  6. 111 Andrey Amador Movistar Team +1'15"
  7. 112 Nairo Quintana Movistar Team "
  8. 114 Daniele Bennati Movistar Team +1'17"
  9. 128 Imanol Erviti Movistar Team +1'52"
  10. 140 Marc Soler Movistar Team +2'24"
  11. 154 José Joaquín Rojas Movistar Team +2'44"
See prov general ranking
  1. 01 Fernando Gaviria Quick Step 4h23'22"
  2. 02 Peter Sagan Bora-Hansgrohe +4"
  3. 03 Marcel Kittel Katusha-Alpecin +6"
  4. 33 Mikel Landa Movistar Team +10"
  5. 38 Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team "
  6. 111 Andrey Amador Movistar Team +1'25"
  7. 112 Nairo Quintana Movistar Team "
  8. 115 Daniele Bennati Movistar Team +1'27"
  9. 128 Imanol Erviti Movistar Team +2'02"
  10. 140 Marc Soler Movistar Team +2'34"
  11. 154 José Joaquín Rojas Movistar Team +2'54"
See stage ranking