Giro – Nairo Quintana “I’m calm”


Pink jersey holder Nairo Quintana (Movistar) stays the pace against his rivals on Mont Zoncolan to pretty much seal the win of his first Grand Tour, the 2014 Giro d’Italia

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Giro – Nairo Quintana “I’m calm”

The final mountainous hurdle for Nairo Quintana and the Movistar Team in the 2014 Giro d’Italia is now behind them with the best possible result. The slopes of the Mont Zoncolan, the steepest climb in pro cycling in mainland Europe, saw the leader of the Endura clad squad controlling the main favourites and keeping their man Quintana in Pink with just one day to go.

The Colombian and all his team-mates made difficult things look easy on the 167km stage twenty. Responsibility of controlling the peloton was down to Movistar and all of them fulfilled their tasks to perfection. Ventoso, Malori and Amador kept the pace during the Passo del Pura (Cat-1) and the Sella di Razzo (Cat-2), the two climbs leading to the 10km ‘wall’ in the end.

With nineteen riders fighting for the stage in the breakaway, more than eight minutes ahead, the Movistar riders tackled the start of the ascent in amazing style, Amador and Jonathan Castroviejo almost splitting the group. Through the steepest slopes, it was the turn for Igor Antón to set a suffocating rhythm at the head of the group, which neutralized the only real attempt of the GC contenders – made by Kiserlovski (TFR)- and shrunk the field to just seven riders.

As Poels (OPQS) took command in the group in favour of Urán, Quintana stuck to his fellow countryman’s wheel and followed the pace with no trouble until the last kilometre, where he added an extra gear and rode to the finish in complete control.

Ahead lie eight urban laps of a circuit in Trieste on a 172km stage from Gemona del Friuli thatg will bring down the curtain downon the 2014 Giro. Nairo Quintana leads by 3’07” over Urán, 4’04” to Aru (AST) and almost six minutes ahead of Rolland (EUC). The Movistar Team’s dream of winning a Grand Tour again after five years after Valverdes ’09 Vuelta is just around the corner.

Nairo Quintana “Some tears did come to my eyes when I got onto the podium. I’m really happy. I’m about to clinch a really important goal in my life, about to win in such a beautiful place, with all the fans, as well as Italians, Colombians… and others from other parts of the world – I’m just super proud”.

“We’ve got this 99% sealed now. There’s just the last stage left tomorrow, which we know is relatively flat, and as we saw today, the team is also really strong. We hope to round off this excellent Giro confirming the results and raising our arms through the last finish line”.

“Zoncolan was pretty demanding, ‘impegnativo’, as they say here. The pace has been high the last days and the riders came here really tired onto the last climb. We’re happy with this success, all of us in the team. At the end of the first week and the beginning of the second, I was very much ill, frightened that I couldn’t fulfil the expectations. I went through some ‘transition’ stages and struggled a bit, but I did my best to recover and my body is now OK. We’ve got the maglia rosa on our shoulders and a pretty large gap over second place – I’m calm.”


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