Malori Rides to Stage 5 Time Trial Victory in 2014 Tour de San Luis
Team Movistar continued its winning streak at Tour de San Luis when Italian Malori secured the victory in the individual time trial earlier today. Malori completed the 19.2 kilometer time trial course in and around San Luis in 00:22:11.
Commenting on his race winning performance Malori told Roadcycling.com "To be honest, I wasn't expecting to win today because Phinney was focused on taking the win here and was the main favorite. But once I got into the race, I realized I was rolling strong. I knew the parcours from last year's race, where I claimed 5th, and I knew my time was going to be good because I was feeling well."
"I did another recon this morning behind the team car and was determined to perform well, because I liked the route. It's a very important win for me, especially from a psychological point of view. This gives me much confidence for the remainder of the season."
"My next goal will be the Dubai Tour where I hope to shine in the TT, too. It's true that Phinney seems like the man closest to the likes of Martin, Cancellara and Wiggins, and I beat him, but my main challenge this year is getting closer to those three references."
Phinney finished the out-and-back route three seconds behind Malori. The past U.S. national time trial champion said he made a tactical error by not asking the team's mechanics to put a 55 or 56-tooth front chainring on his BMC time trial bike.
"I rode it this morning and thought it wouldn't be necessary," Phinney explained. "But I got up to 75, 78 kilometers an hour going down on that tailwind section and just had to stop pedaling a couple times." Phinney said he wasn't trying to make excuses, adding that he knew Malori – a past Italian national time trial champion – would be strong. "My power was there and my pacing strategy was good, but not having those extra gears on the way down cost me a couple seconds," he said.
Jorge Giacinti (Team San Luis Somos Todos) finished third, 29 seconds behind the stage winner.
Defending Tour de San Luis leader Gaimon finished in 33rd position, 01:48 behind Malori. His lackluster performance cost him the overall race lead as Quintana delivered a stronger performance, finishing 16th, 01:18 behind Malori. He thereby took the lead in the general classification with just two stages remaining.
"At least I'll get some peace and quiet now. Thanks for all the help and encouragement. No pity, please. It's only January," Gaimon wrote on Twitter after the stage.
General classification leader Quintana said "It was a beautiful day for the whole team and that what makes me most happy. Especially with Malori, who delivered a remarkable time trial, and myself, as I could take over the leader's jersey. I was coming into this time trial a bit more with focus on not losing time and testing my legs against the clock, but I felt strong during the parcours and the result proves it."
"I'll be tackling that final mountain stage in a different way that I expected. I've had to attack to win, but now we'll be racing in a more defensive way, letting a small break going away and responding to attacks that will certainly happen on the final ascent."
"Let's hope we can retain this jersey until Sunday. After that, it'll be time to head back to Spain for the team presentation and then again back to Colombia, to witness the birth of my baby - I can't really miss that particular stage - at all," Quintana concluded before entering the team bus for a well-deserved shower.