Quin­tana keeps cool, vi­o­lent Moreno ex­pelled

New Straits Times - - Sport -

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

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