Those who consider this Tour as good as over haven't seen the determination in Quintana's eyes as he promises to attack, attack and attack again

It was a small climb, but Nairo Quintana (Movistar) used it to test Sky’s Chris Froome and his rivals for the yellow jersey. When the Tour de France finished the three-kilometre rise to the airstrip above Mende, in France’s southwest, he had dropped all his peers bar Froome, and moved from second to third overall in the process.

The next goal, however, is even harder: drop Froome. As strong as Quintana looked as he danced away from the peloton, he couldn’t shake the yellow jersey from his back wheel — and in the final stretch it was Team Sky’s leader who attacked, bursting clear and adding yet another second to his overall lead.

>>> Chris Froome hit with urine as Tour de France fans get nasty

Yet the Colombian, who spent his childhood at 3000 metres, promises to attack Froome at every chance possible as the race enters the Alps.

“It wasn’t a planned day. I had good legs and thought that some may be paying after the hot days that we had,” Quintana said in his quiet voice on the open and hot airstrip after the stage finish.

“We wanted to test Froome, and we will continue to do so, to attack him to get to our target: the yellow jersey.”

 

Brit Steve Cummings (MTN-Qhubeka) zipped clear of his escape companions to win the 14th stage. While he was racing towards the line, the live television coverage switched back to the main peloton four minutes behind.

Quintana attacked. Reigning champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) tried to follow, but was dropped. Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) fell behind too. Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) also lost ground.

Froome was the only one who could stay with the aggressive Colombian. Eager to show why he still had the race leader’s yellow jersey, Froome distanced Quintana by one second on the landing strip finish.

>>> Everyone on Twitter loves Steve Cummings

Quintana now trails by 3-10 minutes, but moved up on van Garderen, jumping from third to second in the overall classification.

“He’s dangerous,” Sky’s Geraint Thomas said of Quintana. “They all are. Nairo’s that much closer to Froomey, that’s why he’s the big threat.”

Quintana in the young riders' white jersey in the 2013 Tour (Sunada)

Quintana in the young riders’ white jersey in the 2013 Tour (Sunada)

Froome rode away with the 2013 Tour, but Quintana in his debut managed second overall and won the young and mountains classifications.

Movistar decided to give him the chance to win a grand tour and took him to the Giro d’Italia last year, where he succeeded over Rigoberto Urán and Fabio Aru.

Now more mature at 25 years old, Quintana’s aim is now the Tour title when the race finishes on the Champs-Élysées next Sunday. “The theory was not to have a super start,” his trainer Mikel Zabala told Cycling Weekly, “but to evolve in the second and third week.”

Many are predicting a sprint stage tomorrow in Valence, but after that Quintana could take his chance again. The longer Alpine climbs where he can get into his rhythm, said Zabala, suit him the best. He may try for early gains in stages like Pra Loup, or maybe hold off until one of cycling’s most famous climbs

“The day to drop Froome will be the Alpe d’Huez,” Sports Director José Arrieta said. “Remember his crisis there in 2013?”

Froome briefly suffered a hunger crisis in 2013 and needed to take a gel from team-mate Richie Porte. He recovered, however, and won his first Tour title.

 

  • Ambientereal

    I didn´t mean the video in this article. Something wrong with Disqus. sorry.

  • Ambientereal

    Because the link was deleted.

  • Ambientereal

    So, you didn´t…. It was a youtube video, and the link was deleted.

  • Ambientereal

    You should analyze your own figures. Nairo has the same power output per kg of body weight as Froome, so no supehuman in this department. As for the speed, of course he was faster otherwise he would not have won isn´t it?

  • lula

    You have serious reading comprehension issues. Perhaps you should work on that and spend less time watching races.

  • Ambientereal

    You accuse Froome without proof, read the comments of this video, that is my proof.

  • Jeremy Ruth

    Sorry but you are wrong, you can see fans all around the world and you can see teams for Europe. you are pointing your finger in Quintana. How do you know everybody is Quintana’s fan?, People are quite demotivate for Sky numbers, see the speed and power output for the top ten riders at PIERRE SAINT MARTIN, where Froome was the only one who overcome with superhuman effort limits

    1 – FROOME Christopher – 69 Kg – 22,4 Km/h – 414,6 Watts – 6,01 watts/Kg
    2 – PORTE Richie – 62 Kg – 21,9 Km/h – 370,7 Watts – 5,98 watts/Kg
    3 – QUINTANA Nairo – 59 Kg – 21,8 Km/h – 354,5 Watts – 6,01 watts/Kg
    4 – GESINK Robert – 70 Kg – 21,6 – Km/h – 402,1 Watts – 5,74 watts/Kg
    5 – VALVERDE Alejandro – 61 Kg – 21,4 Km/h – 356,1 Watts – 5,84 watts/Kg
    6 – THOMAS Geraint – 70 Kg – 21,4 Km/h – 397,8 Watts – 5,68 watts/Kg
    7 YATES Adam – 61 Kg – 21,3 Km/h – 354,2 Watts – 5,81 watts/Kg
    8 ROLLAND Pierre – 71 Kg – 21,3 Km/h – 400,3 Watts – 5,64 watts/Kg
    9 GALLOPIN Tony – 70 Kg – 21,2 Km/h – 393,5 Watts – 5,62 watts/Kg

    10 VAN GARDEREN Tejay – 69 Kg – 21,1 Km/h – 386,8 Watts – 5,61 watts/Kg

    Also, I am surprise with Thomas, I do not know how is doing to be better than TJ, Valverde, Contador, Purito real “escaladores”

  • lula

    I do not know if you are trolling me or just twisting words to your liking. Being a fan of Quintana does not equal wanting something bad to happen to Froome. Had you read my previous comment well, you would understand this. Believe what you want to believe, it is clear from all others who have responded to you that you ( thankfully) are not in the majority when it comes to your twisted point of view.

  • Ambientereal

    So you in the end agree with me, almost everyone is Quintana´s fan, and so almost everyone wants that something bad happens to Froome. This fan that threw urine has followed what he believes is the general opinion, and he is possibly right.

  • lula

    I do think you are very wrong in insinuating that Quintana’s fans have anything to do with this. I am well aware of all the discussion surrounding Froome right now. I also would hope you look into the history of cycling and how it has been unfortunately marred by the likes of Armstrong and others, who cheated their way to titles. It is this history that Froome himself has pointed out after the incident, that is what’s turning public opinion against him. He blames the media, actually. Not going to lie and say that the way he got to number one is not unbelievable. However, I will also like to believe that he has done it himself, without the help of any drugs because I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt. I DO want Quintana to win but at the end of the day, may it be the best rider out there. I do not need to accuse or write inflammatory and baseless opinions to root for Quintana, unlike you, sir.

  • Ambientereal

    You are right, I should not express my thoughts so openly, but I am enraged by this situation. I am not a fan of anyone, in fact I am very old but new as cycling spectator. I like to watch many sports like F1, athletics, marathons etc. and lately there is a strong tendency to discredit the winner. For instance, Vettel, the F1 driver has been very often discredited although he has demonstrated that he is a very skilled driver.

  • Ambientereal

    If you think I am wrong, please check the reader´s opinions in specialized media (and sometimes also the opinion of the journalists). Almost everyone believes Froome is cheating. Many even assure they have proof of the cheating. Others manifest their wishes that Froome falls from his bike or gets involved in any kind of accident. Again, please check the opinions.

  • PlanktomPyramid

    You are the virtual version of the ‘fan’ that threw urine to Froome. Both of you, pathetic and a shame to the sport

  • lula

    Sooo…pretty much most of the world according to your sore loser logic? Whoever those “fans” are rooting for are disgusting and I’m sure no one wants them as their fans. Takes absolutely NO merit away from what Quintana is accomplishing, despite your silly assertions.

  • Ambientereal

    In this Tour everyone is Quintana´s fan, except for the Froome´s fans. French, Spanish and South American cycling followers are Quintana´s fans because they don´t want that Froome wins.

  • Peter Marlow

    I very much doubtt the urine incident had anything to do with Colombian fans.

  • robaroo

    he moved from second to third in the process? i think you mean from third to second. otherwise, you’re applauding the fact that he went backwards. weird.

  • eminusx

    C’mon man, don’t lower yourself to their level. I’m pretty sure no rider in the professional peloton would support such disgusting behaviour. ex-riders doing so from the commentary booth is bad enough!

  • SMT

    Tsk tsk, I see. So your deranged mind is implicating both Quintana ans his fans in the urine incident. Way to go. I wish I had your omniscience prowess.

  • SMT

    I see. So your deranged mind is implicating both Quintana in the urine incident. Way to go. I wish I had your omniscience prowess.

  • Ambientereal

    He (and his fans) “promises to attack Froome at every chance possible, (even throwing urine?).