Dayer Quintana and his older brother and Movistar team-mate Nairo Quintana put in a strong performance on the final mountain stage of the 2016 Tour de San Luis in Argentina on Saturday to put Dayer in the overall race lead.
Although fellow Colombian Miguel Lopez (Astana) took the stage victory, Nairo and Dayer Quintana finished in second and third positions.
Nairo’s position was all the more impressive given that he was involved in a crash during the previous day’s stage that saw team-mate Adriano Malori placed into a medically-induced coma in hospital. Malori is reported by Movistar to be recovering well.
Dayer’s third was enough to propel him into the top spot in the general classification, pushing former race leader Eduardo Sepulveda (Fortuneo Vital Concept) down into second at 20 seconds. Nairo is third at 35 seconds.
With just one, relatively flat stage remaining in the UCI 2.1-ranked race, there is little opportunity for Dayer Quintana’s rivals to overhaul his position, potentially giving him the first major victory of his career on Sunday.
With a climbing ability that seems to be on a par with Grand Tour-winning brother Nairo, it could be that we have witnessed the start of a new and exciting race partnership – and another stage race contender for Movistar.
One rider who will not be contesting the final stage is Etixx-QuickStep sprinter Fernando Gaviria. The stage two winner was a non-starter after fracturing his arm in the previous day’s crash.
Tour de San Luis 2016, stage 6: La Toma to Filo de la Sierra de Comechingones, 159.5km
1. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana in 4-35-49
2. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 2 secs
3. Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar at 4 secs
4. Ilia Koshevoy (Blr) Lampre-Merida at 23 secs
5. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Fortuneo Vital Concept at same time
Overall classification after stage 6
1. Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar in 20-15-21
2. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Fortuneo Vital Concept at 20 secs
3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 35 secs
4. Miguel Lopez (Col) Astana at 38 secs
5. Ilia Koshevoy (Blr) Lampre-Merida at 1-42