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"It was fantastic to come here, to find my team in great form and ready to work hard, and to come away with victory: it is emotional, and good for the head."

Photo:ANSA / DAL ZENNARO - PERI

MOVISTAR TEAM

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NAIRO QUINTANA

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TIRRENO - ADRIATICO

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17.03.2015 @ 20:15 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The composure, reliability and talent of Nairo Quintana and the Movistar Team led the telephone squad to another brilliant success on Italian soil. The 25-year-old Colombian is the final winner of the 50th Tirreno-Adriatico after racing safely through the 10km individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto, in order to secure his first overall triumph in the 'Race of the Two Seas'.

 

Supported by magnificent references from three of his team-mates in the day's top-10 - Malori (2nd) was part lof another exhilarating duel with Cancellara (TFR), beaten this time by only four seconds; Castroviejo completed an excellent week with his 4th spot; and Andrey Amador crossed the line in 9th - the Cómbita-born rider took advantage of his comfortable gap over Bauke Mollema (TFR) - 39 seconds, eventually reduced to 18 - and claimed the 'Trident' on the final podium, joined by the Dutchman (2nd) and fellow Colombian Rigoberto Urán (EQS). The squad directed by José Luis Jaimerena and Chente García Acosta also snatched the teams' overall.

 

Movistar Team adds one of the few stage races in the WorldTour still missing in their account - the Tours Down Under, Romandie and Pologne are the three still escaping to the Blues' dominion - and reaches the 10-win milestone this season, just four short of the 800 since the team stepped onto the pro scene. It's also Nairo Quintana's 24th success as pro cyclist, having obtained overall victories in the Giro ('14), País Vasco ('13), Burgos ('13, '14), San Luis ('14), Route du Sud ('12) and Murcia ('12) - not forgetting the 2010 Tour de l'Avenir, before joining the Blues - which prove his confidence and extreme competitiveness wherever he rides.

 

"I couldn't take things easy because it was a pretty demanding time trial, a bit longer than last year's and harder," he said. "The rivals had a bigger advantage over me in that terrain and I had to go full steam; fortunately, things went 'normal', as good as I needed to keep the jersey, and I'm really happy. This victory was also needed for my morale: after the crash in the Vuelta a España, I had spent a long period without living a moment of joy like today's, one for which you prepare yourself and spend so much time working hard.

 

“I needed this win for my own head, but also to show my fans that I am still here. Last year I won the Vuelta a Burgos, but then in the Vuelta a España I couldn’t give my fans the satisfaction of the win because of that disastrous fall. To finish on the podium in Argentina was reassuring, although it’s a very different type of race and lacks the big rivals who go to the WorldTour races. It was fantastic to come here, to find my team in great form and ready to work hard, and to come away with victory: it is emotional, and good for the head.

“When I remember that day [on the Monte Terminillo], the hair stands up on the back of my neck. It was a spectacular win in enchanting surroundings. I’d have to do my homework to compile a ranking of my favourite mountain stage wins, but to beat those rivals, on a day like that, in the cold, with a nervous, twitchy peloton, and then to finish on the Terminillo in the snow, in conditions that made for wonderful photographs, was special, even if I have to say that we suffered a lot that day.

“I don’t know what [Contador] is thinking after my win here. But I think all of the big climbing rivals are at a very similar level. Froome wasn’t here, so we didn’t see what shape he is in. But he and Contador showed how strong they are in Andalucia. It was a magnificent spectacle, one of them winning on one day, the next winning the next. Now I have won here. To me, it suggest that we are all pretty even. Contador will be strong at the Tour de France, but so will Froome and Nibali. And for all of us, it’s our main goal.

 

"Fortunately, we didn't suffer any incidents or mechanicals this week, and the whole team performed at an impressive level, really strongly. Fran [Ventoso] was a bit ill and feverish, but despite not having his best form, he always helped us out, did really well - and the rest were incredible, did their work really, really well. And not only my team-mates, but the whole group: the sports directors, carers, mechanics... they are always taking care of me, helping me out, and this victory is dedicated to them and my family. Now, I'll take some days of rest before the cobbled classics next week and then País Vasco."

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