Quintana Climbs to Victory in Stage 20 of Tour de France
Nairo Quintana (Movistar) has won Stage 20 in the Tour de France and obtained second place on the podium in Paris. The Colombian surged away from Chris Froome (Sky) in the last km to win the mountainous, 125-km ride from from Annecy to Annecy/Semnoz in 3:39:04. Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) finished second at 0:18, and Froome took third at 0:29. Froome is the maillot jaune and is poised to win the race when it ends in Paris tomorrow.
a minute behind the maillot jaune group, and his place on the Tour podium was slipping away. Kreuziger paced his captain, while Porte rode in their wake. Ahead, Rodriguez and Quintana drove the maillot jaune group to distance themselves from Contador. With three km left, Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) joined the Contador group and Kreuziger dropped out of it.
Just before the one-km banner, Froome attacked. Quintana responded quickly, but Rodriguez did not. As the Spaniard reached the Briton and the Colombian, Quintana attacked and powered home for the win. Rodriguez jumped Froome to take second.
Quintana’s win and Rodriguez’s second place reshaped the podium. Contador dropped from second to fourth overall, while Rodriguez moved from fourth to third and Quintana from third to second. In addition to taking the stage win, the Colombian has taken the young rider and King of the Mountains competitions.
Quintana’s success overwhelmed him, and he gave thanks to his team and to his compatriots. "I can't believe what has happened, I have no words," the Movistar man said. “I had dreamt of this for a very long time, but didn't believe it could come so early. I'm just a 23-year-old boy, but time goes fast, and today is a day to cry out of pure happiness. We thought winning the stage was feasible, but I wasn't as convinced as my DS nor all the team. They're impressive: they help me so much, especially on the psychological side, to cope with such big challenges. Just all of them: the carers, the technical side, all the riders...they all took me here and I wouldn't have achieved anything without them. They're a spectacular group, the strongest of all in the Tour. When [Movistar directeur sportif Jose Luis] Arrieta told me 'you have to take leadership roles in the team,' I stood up and said 'of course.' I was ready, there was no problem, but I told them they would have to forgive me should my legs fail, because the Tour is so fast and the stages, so long. They said I just had to do as much as I could - I should be calm and go as far as the legs would let me to. But today, we saw I recovered really well from the efforts, and I could pay back the confidence as team leader. This victory goes to Arrieta, the best DS I ever had, and every single member of the team.
"What I achieved today is the result of lots of work and the class God and my parents gave me. What I achieved is also a result of my team's work: only since a year ago, I thought about contesting the Tour overall--I had just turned pro and was contesting my first big races, showing myself to the world. I never thought so big when I was a child--I was just going day by day, and only last year I started thinking about that. People asked me and will surely ask me to win the Tour de France in the future, and also in Colombia they