Quintana and Movistar dominate in Catalunya

Fotoreporter Sirotti

The first of the big mountain stages was won by Colombian Nairo Quintana ahead of teammate Alejandro Valverde who also grabbed the leaders jersey.

The stage saw a four man breakaway with little or no chance to stay away. Movistar and Team Blanc assured that they were gobbled up on the the long scenic climb up the snow-clad slopes to Vallter 2000. In a fairly passively raced climb Lotto's Jurgen Van Den Broucke was the first major contender to make his move but he was controlled convincingly by Team Sky and never went anywhere. Newly returned from suspension Tom Danielson was next to have a go but his attack was also shortlived as the fairly large peloton soon reeled him in. At the red kite Brad Wiggins tried a hard long attack that was countered by Katusha's Joaquim Rodriguez and the two Movistars. As Wiggins was neutralized Quintana launched a fierce attack and quickly got a deciding gap that he held to the line as Valverde outsprinted J-Rod behind.

Quintana looked by far the strongest but the GC is now held by Valverde as the Colombian missed the unexpected split on stage one. Movistar now look firmly in control of the GC as we head into another big mountain-stage tomorrow. Wiggins and J-Rod both look threatening behind but with no TT it's hard to see Wiggo outclimbing the other three. Tomorrows stage will pose the toughest challenge so that is where J-Rod will have to turn the tables on Movistar if he is to win his home race. Can Katusha use the multiple climb stage to unsettle a Valverde who looked supremely in control today?

Results:

  1. Nairo Quintana, Movistar, 5.01.20
  2. Alejandro Valverde, Movistar, + 6 sec
  3. Joaquim Rodriguez, Katusha, s.t.
  4. Brad Wiggins, Team Sky, s.t.
  5. Thibault Pinot, FDJ , + 9 sec

General Classification

  1. Valverde
  2. Wiggins, at 4 sec
  3. Joaquim Rodriguez, at 4 sec
  4. Michele Scarponi,Lampre, at 7 sec
  5. Przemyslaw Niemec , Lampre, s.t.
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