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"This is a great joy to be on the podium with Nairo Quintana, the best climber in the world. It's the best podium of my career, even better than the podiums at the Pan-American Games and the podium in the Vuelta a Chile. It beats t...

Photo: Sirotti


27.01.2014 @ 14:48 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Sergio Godoy (San Luis) was the big surprise in the Tour de San Luis which ended yesterday, after the Argentinean had ended up 3rd in the race that included several of the best grand tour riders in the world. Describing the result as the best of his career, he was overjoyed to step onto the podium alongside one of the world's greatest stars, Nairo Quintana.


The Tour de San Luis has had a habit of producing a local surprise and the 2014 edition was no exception. Last year it was Daniel Diaz from the local San Luis team who was an unexpected winner of the race and this year it was his teammate Sergio Godoy who caught the eyes of the European teams.


After Diaz had fallen out of GC contention on the first mountain stage where unfortunate punctures had seen Godoy lose a minute, the hierarchy on the San Luis team was less fixed. Godoy showed his strength on Thursday's queen stage when he was the only one to stay with eventual winner Nairo Quintana (Movistar) when he attacked on the Alto el Amago climb.


Godoy was ultimately dropped but finished 2nd on the stage and after a good time trial he found himself in 3rd on GC on the eve of the final big mountain stage. Again he exceeded expectations when he even dropped Quintana in the finale, finishing second behind Julian Arredondo (Trek).


25-year-old Godoy was overjoyed with his success.


"This is a great joy to be on the podium with Nairo Quintana, the best climber in the world," he said according to Biciciclismo. "It's the best podium of my career, even better than the podiums at the Pan-American Games and the podium in the Vuelta a Chile. It beats them all."


Godoy was an amateur in Italy in 2008 and in Spain in 2009 and 2010 after having taken the junior national and Pan-American titles. He returned to his home country and since last year he has been riding in the San Luis colours, finishing 2nd in the 2013 Vuelta a Chile.


"We stated the tour on the wrong foot as we lost a rider, Leandro Messineo [who crashed while being in the breakaway on stage 1]," Godoy said. "And in the second stage I punctured twice and lost a precious minute. Who knows if I could have ended up 2nd? The team was very united and focused on success and luckily we got 3rd place and the win in the team classification."


Godoy has good memories of his time in Europe.


"It was a very nice experience," he said. "It was in 2010, I was with Xabier Artetxe on the Baranco team. I learned many things and I started my riding career. I still stay in touch with Xavier."


However, he likes to be part of his current team and has no plans to return to Europe.


"I stayed in Europe for three years but has now returned to Argentina and I am very grateful to the Government of San Luis because they opened the door for me. I hope to continue to respond in the best way."


While the likes of Quintana will now set their sights on the major races in Europe, Godoy has more modest ambitions as he targets his next race: the Vuelta a Mendoza



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