Quintana Climbs to Victory in Tour de San Luis 2014
Colombian Nairo Quintana takes first 2014 victory for Team Movistar and climbs into 2nd overall in Tour de San Luis behind Garmin-Sharp's Phillip Gaimon after offensive riding from foot of the Cerro El Amago climb.
Quintana showed great form on the 9.5 kilometer Cerro El Amago climb to the finish line of the 169 kilometer stage 4 of the 2014 Tour de San Luis. Proving he's a premier climber Quintana soloed to victory in 04 hours 15 minutes and 33 seconds, completing the stage 50 seconds ahead of Argentina's Sergio Godoy of Team San Luis Somos Todos. Team BMC Racing's Darwin Atapuma was third to cross the finish line, 1 minute and 32 seconds after Quintana.
Godoy was the only rider able to stay with Quintana when he attacked on the most difficult mountain climb of this year's Tour de San Luis. Godoy managed to keep up with Quintana for most of the climb. Quintana's persistence and repeated accelerations, however, put an end to the tandem riding when Godoy finally cracked.
"At Potrero, race leader Gaimon climbed really well and the ascent was shorter and less steep. The Cerro El Amago was different, because it's a longer climb, a more demanding one and covered in damaged cement. That's why I could open a bigger gap here. I made my move and climbed strongly," Quintana told Roadcycling.com in the finish zone.
Overall race leader Phillip Gaimon of Team Garmin-Sharp finished the stage in 18th position, 4 minutes and 15 seconds after the stage winner.
Today's stage started under sunny skies in Potrero de los Funes and the respective teams worked hard to protect their climbers in the flat opening kilometers, helping them preserve as much energy as possible for the decisive challenges of the day.
Quintana was grateful for his team's support in today's stage and dedicated his victory to his team, his wife and the baby she is expecting.
"The team was crucial for my performance. They were always at my side, early with the chasing work and then on the climb where they set a fast pace which broke the bunch into pieces. They were sensational. This victory is dedicated to them, to my wife, my parents and my baby who is about to be born and is the most beautiful thing in my life. He was a motivation for me and made for a special day."
Following today's stage Gaimon leads the Tour de San Luis by a mere four seconds to stage winner Quintana. The climbers will face a more difficult challenge in tomorrow's stage - a 19 kilometer individual time trial. The last time this time trial route was contested the race was won by Xavier Tondo who has since passed away in a terrible accident in his home country Spain.