News: Quintana beats Thomas to stage win at Tirreno-Adriatico

Nairo Quintana wins Tirreno Adriatico’s queen stage ahead of Geraint Thomas who’s second.

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News: Quintana beats Thomas to stage win at Tirreno-Adriatico

Team Sky Press Release

Geraint Thomas narrowly lost out to Nairo Quintana (Movistar) in a brutal battle up the Terminillo on Tirreno Adriatico’s queen stage.

Quintana attacked with five kilometres to go to leave Thomas, Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) and earlier leader Simon Spilak (Katusha Alpecin) behind and was able to hold off a spirited chase to finish 18 seconds ahead of the Welshman.

The result by Thomas moves him up to eighth overall in the general classification, 1’23” behind race leader Quintana, but just 27 seconds from the podium.

During the stage, it looked as though a long distance break may prevail as a six rider breakaway had a lead of nine minutes over the peloton, which would later extend to over 10 minutes. However, as the ascents began to take their toll on the leaders, their advantage was halved with 40km to go before they were snapped up by the peloton with just 30km to go, despite a late counter-attack by Davide Ballerini (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec).

The battle really started in the final stages as Michal Kwiatowski led a small breakaway containing five riders, which gave birth to Spilak’s solo break that nearly paid dividends.

However, the Slovenian rider was caught by the group led by Quintana and Thomas with two kilometres to go before the Movistar rider was able to accelerate again and set up his march to the overall lead.
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Nairo Quintana (from Movistar Cycling Team): “It went all as we planned it, I’m really happy. I wasn’t really confident about my condition since I had got a bit sick during the last few days, sort of a flu.

It has taken some energy off me during the week, and I don’t feel superb yet. However, the team was really great all week supporting me. All my team-mates kept me calm until the foot of the climb, and later on, Andrey and Dani were really attentive to those attacks, just like Castroviejo.

Our strategy was having all three taking care of those attacks, before the moves from the big favourites, and Castro really delivered. As the big moves came, I stayed on their wheels until I found the moment to attack and overtake them. I feel like experience and maturity give you a real edge in such moments – the older the better, and it really paid off today for me.

There’s still a couple of dangerous stages left; actually, I think Sunday will be harder than today. It’s a nice gap in the overall standings for us, though, one that we can manage well through both tomorrow and the ITT, so we can bring this jersey home on Tuesday. We’ve got a strong team and I’m hopeful we can fulfil that goal.”

Geraint Thomas: Its nice to finish well on a climb like that. Quintana is the second best climber in the world behind Froomey LoL. So no shame being dropped by him. It’s encouraging to put time into everyone else. Shame about what happened in the TTT but this shows all the hard work I have been doing is paying off.

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