Nairo Quintana says he'll attack on Monte Zoncolan to seal Giro d'Italia win

Colombian Giro d'Italia leader Nairo Quintana says he's "showing the fans what they want to see"

Nairo Quintana on stage eighteen of the 2014 Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: watson)

Nairo Quintana built on his Giro d'Italia lead today in the Monte Grappa time trial. The Colombian, in pink from head to toe, won the 19th stage and put 1-26 minutes into his rival.

"I'm very happy today," team Movistar's Quintana said at 1712 metres. "I'm pleased we pulled it off."

His pink jersey appears rosier now. Instead of 1-41, he leads with 3-07 (check) minutes over fellow Colombian Rigoberto Urán (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).

The Monte Zoncolan stage tomorrow remains the only challenge between today's stage up Monte Grappa and Quintana becoming the first Colombian to win the Giro d'Italia on Sunday in Trieste. The road only climbs for 10.1 kilometres, but kicks up to 22%. It averages 11.9%.

"It's not that I expected more today. I just have to be happy with the result," Urán said.

"What will I do tomorrow on Zoncolan? It's a very hard climb with a steep gradient. It's going to be hard to make the difference given the hard gradients."

Quintana, 24, won the stage and took the overall under controversy three days ago. He attacked on the snowy descent of the Stelvio Pass and gained two minutes. At Val Martello, the stage finish, He won with 4-11 minutes over Urán.

However, he clearly showed on Monte Grappa that he is stronger than Urán. Over the 26.8 kilometres, he improved. He trailed by 26 seconds at the first time check on the flats, but after switching to his climbing bike and to a normal road helmet, he gained time. He led by 36 seconds at the second time check mid-way up the climb and won with 1-26.

"Today I showed what the fans wanted to see," Quintana added. "Tomorrow, I have a strong team to control the stage. I'll try to attack when we get towards the top. Why not?"

Nairo Quintana wins Giro d'Italia mountain time trial

Race leader Nairo Quintana increases his overall race lead with mountain time trial victory

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Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.