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Quintana Sends Early Season Warning

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Mar 27, 2016 – Colombia’s Nairo Quintana won the Tour of Catalonia on Sunday with the final stage — a 136km circuit around Barcelona’s Montjuic area, the site of the 1992 Olympic Games — going to Alexey Tsatevich of Russia.

AFP/Yuzuru Sunada

Quintana, head of the Movistar team, took the lead in what is Spain’s oldest stage race at the end of the fourth stage at Port Aine and he never looked like losing that on Sunday.

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The Colombian successfully resisted a series of attacks from Chris Froome, Alberto Contador and Dan Martin in a race that featured the majority of this year’s contenders for the Tour de France. While Tsatevich edged out Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic in a sprint finish, Quintana finished seven seconds clear of Spain’s Contador (Tinkoff) overall with Ireland’s Martin (Etixx) in third at 17 seconds off the pace.

Defending Tour de France champion Froome (Team Sky) was forced to settle for eighth place as he ended 46 seconds adrift. “There’s a lot of emotion to have been able to beat my rivals. It gives me confidence that we are working well,” said Quintana, who, like Froome, was racing for the first time in Europe this season.

However, he was mindful not to read too much into the result, adding: “I won the Tour of Catalonia by seven seconds, which isn’t very much.” For Contador, who like Froome is a two-time winner of the Tour de France, his second-place finish marked another near-miss for the Spaniard. “It’s a pity that I missed the win for four seconds at Paris-Nice and seven here, it would have been to round it off,” he said.

“However, if I had to choose between the form I have right now and achieving victory with worse sensations, I would definitely prefer the good sensations, especially ahead of the season’s big goal, the Tour de France.”

Final kilometers of Stage 7
https://youtu.be/OUUGdHl5_ow

Results Stage 7:
1. Aleksei Tsatevich (Rus) Team Katusha 3:13:33
2. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
3. Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling 0:00:14
4. Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky
5. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge
6. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale Pro Cycling
7. Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
8. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
9. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty – Groupe Gobert
10. Carlos Barbero (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA

General Classification:
1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 30:50:19
2. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team 0:00:07
3. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick-Step 0:00:17
4. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team
5. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:27
6. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:31
7. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha 0:00:42
8. Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:46
9. Hugh Carthy (GBr) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:01:01
10. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:01:16

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