Dayer Quintana (Movistar Team) won yesterday’s final stage of Colombia Oro y Paz (2.1) as his brother and team mate Nairo finished second overall, 8″ behind compatriot Egan Bernal (Team Sky).
The younger Quintana was a member of the 33-rider break which gained four minutes on the peloton and the 25 year-old managed to hold off the GC contenders on the lumpy 184-kilometre stage from Armenia to Manizales to take the third win of his career. He previously won the Kitzbüheler Horn stage of the 2014 Tour of Austria and the 2016 Tour de San Luis overall.
Rodrigo Contreras (EPM) had attacked earlier on the final climb but Quintana bade his time, before going clear alone to take the stage. Behind, Bernal left the other GC contenders behind on the steepest part of the climb to Manizales and finished just 10″ behind Dayer, alongside his Team Sky team mate Sebastián Henao.
Previous race leader Nairo Quintana finished 21″ down, alongside Rigoberto Uran (Team EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale). Quintana slipped to second overall with Uran taking third in the inaugural edition of the race which drew massive crowds to the roadside.
Dayer Quintana: “Our plan was to get into all big breaks, and we succeeded when Pedrero and I joined that 30-rider group. The dangerous riders on the GC weren’t that really close, but we knew we had to keep an eye on Sevilla and Sebastián Henao specifically in case they wanted to try a move. At the final kilometers, Pedrero was asked by the team to drop back and help Nairo out in the bunch. My task was remaining at the front and wait for my brother, but at the latter part of the stage there was no radio communication available, and I didn’t know what to do. I was so close to dropping back myself to wait for Nairo, but I didn’t get a response and continued following the wheel of Sevilla and Henao, who helped me approach Contreras. At the end, I sprinted with everything I had to win the stage, because we had to take something out of the day. My daughter is turning one year old tomorrow, so there’s no better way to celebrate than offering her this present!”
Nairo Quintana: “The team worked really great, we kept the race under control as we wanted to, but at the end, we got a bit too optimistic because of the time references we were given. There was an issue with time bonuses, too, because we thought that the breakaway wouldn’t be reached down and they would take those seconds. It’s sad for us to see Egan claiming those decisive seconds, but at the end, it was also Dayer who won the stage, and that’s really great for us. I’m happier for him than if it were myself who had won the stage. The most important conclusion we draw from this race is that I’ve shown I’m in good condition and our preparations continue to be on the right path. This race leaves us with a great taste and pride of what Colombia represents. They went in hundreds of thousands to the roads to watch us, it was beautiful to see. It’s very difficult to find roads so crowded as we saw here this week, and that’s something we will hold dear about this Colombia Oro y Paz.”