Nairo Quintana admits that he's still searching for top form at Giro d'Italia

Movistar leader praises his team-mates for closing attacks

Nairo Quintana on stage four of the 2017 Giro d'Italia (Credit: Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Race favourite Nairo Quintana (Movistar) has admitted that he is yet to hit top form at the Giro d'Italia after the race's first summit finish on Tuesday.

The Colombian climber said that he was still short of the levels of form of his rivals on the climb to Mount Etna, but said he hoped to have better legs come the second summit finish on Sunday.

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"My objective on the first mountain stage was to be with my rivals and not to lose any time to them," Quintana told AS.

"I'm lacking in race pace a lot, and I'm still not on the same level as my rivals. But it was the first serious day in the mountains and these early stages that precede the Blockhaus [stage nine's summit finish] will help me get up to speed."

Watch: Giro d'Italia stage four highlights

Lacking in form himself, Quintana was left to rely on his team-mates to chase down moves from the other GC contenders, giving particular praise to the work of Andrey Amador.

"Andrey was at the front of the peloton to control [Nibali's] attack, and I was able to stay in the wheels," Quintana continued.

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"The team has been very good through all of the stages so far. Not just Amador, I'm very pleased with how the whole team is working here."

Quintana should be able to enjoy a relatively relaxing next few days, with few climbs to test the legs of the GC contenders before the Blockhaus on Sunday.

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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.