Quintana keeps cool, violent Moreno expelled
ETNA: Colombian race favourite Nairo Quintana said he remains on schedule for the next climbing stage at the Giro d’Italia after cruising through his first highaltitude test on Mount Etna on Tuesday.
Quintana, the 2014 Giro champion, saw Italy’s defending champion Vincenzo Nibali throw down the gauntlet with a brief attack on the slopes of Europe’s highest active volcano in a drama-filled fourth stage that saw Nibali’s Spanish teammate Javier Moreno thrown off the race for violent conduct.
But it was closed down on the counter by Movistar teammate Andrey Amador, and Quintana went on to finish 11th on the stage behind Slovenian winner Jan Polanc.
Along with Nibali, the 2013 and 2016 champion, Quintana is only 10 seconds behind new race leader Bob Jungels.
“The aim today was not to lose any time. I don’t have as many days racing in my legs compared to them (rivals),” Quintana said.
“It’s the first time I’ve raced at high altitude since my return from Colombia. So it was the chance to see how my condition is.”
Quintana returned from his native Colombia only recently and added: “This first week should allow me to improve my race form. I think I will be better in time for today’s stage.” AFP