4/1/2013 12:00:00 AM - TEAM NEWS!
Quintana wins overall at Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco
Martin earns final time trial victory
Nairo Quintana (Movistar) sealed the overall in the 2013 Vuelta al Pais Vasco with a solid display in the final 24km time trial in Beasain.
The Movistar leader leapfrogged overnight leader Sergio Henao (Sky Procycling), who slipped to third. Riche Porte finished third on the stage and moved up to second in the final GC, while Tony Martin (Omega Pharma QuickStep) won the rain soaked stage in a time of 35:05, with Quintana in second and his teammate Benat Intxausti in third.
"I'm super happy with this victory and this time trial, that went quite better than I expected. I was fighting for such a victory since Paris-Nice, felt really good all these days and was able to confirm today that good feeling on the road," Quintana said.
"It was quite a good parcours for me: it had flat sections, where I don't do bad at all, also some slopes and several turns - as it was also a short TT, it suited me well. We rode with calmness and confidence, distributing my strength equally over the course, and it went well. The roads were slippery and we had to take some risks into the descents; actually, I was close to crashing once, but at the final descent, I already knew I had a good gap and could take things easier."
Coming into the stage, Henao held a slender six seconds lead over Quintana with Porte tied on the same time. Less than 30 seconds covered the next four riders and with Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) in the mix, the overall title was far from decided.
After only 73 riders completed the previous stage, there was a slightly subdued start to Saturday’s afternoon time trial.
Wintery conditions and persistent rain hampered a number of the early starters and it wasn’t until Tony Martin churned his way to an emphatic lead at the first time check did we see a realistic target for the stage win.
The German was at his brutal best on the testing course, using his power to bluster past four riders on his way to the finish.
Egor Silin, who had briefly held throne before Martin finished, was duly dispatched by a massive 2:19, with Jens Voigt over three minutes down. When Malori rolled home 1:53 down Martin had the stage all but won, although with a number of GC all-arounders to come, he would have to wait until the final two riders had crossed the line before official confirmation.
At the intermediate split Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) was 20 seconds down, later 1.08 at the finish, with Jean-Christophe Peraud (AG2R La Mondiale) 29 seconds and then 51 seconds down at the finish. The Frenchman briefly held second on the stage but Intxausti, who was closest to Martin at the first check came home just 32 seconds down. Further down the road and the genuine GC contenders were beginning to find their rhythms.
Alberto Contador looked more than a little hesitant on the early corners and gave himself too much to do on the climbs before the finish but Porte, Quintana, Simon Spilak and Henao all locked horns Contador as 32 seconds off Martin’s marker at the first time check but Porte was closer, 17 adrift.
However Quintana was just seven seconds down and on course for the overall win. As the Sky rider dived down the descent of the final climb it was clear that he would fall short, Quintana even extending his advantage to seal the overall win by 23 seconds over Porte. Henao held onto third by a single second from Spilak with Contador in fifth.
Read more on: Cyclingnews.com