Nairo Quintana has heralded a “new era” for Arkéa-Samsic as he has won his first stage race since 2017.
The Colombian star put an end to his general classification drought in the Tour de la Provence last week, where he secured overall victory with a storming performance on Mont Ventoux.
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Quintana made a significant change during the off-season, as he left Movistar after eight years to join UCI ProTeam Arkéa-Samsic.
After taking victory in France by more than a minute over Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana), the 30-year-old said: “It is a great joy to win the general classification of the Tour de la Provence, this is what I wanted as well as all my Arkéa-Samsic team-mates who were still dazzling today.
“We have worked hard to obtain this performance and the fact of having achieved it opens a new era for the entire Arkéa-Samsic team.”
Quintana emerged as the frontrunner in Provence during stage three, which featured a shortened ascent of the famous Mont Ventoux climb.
He stormed into the lead with stage victory, finishing 1-28 ahead of his nearest rival Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) at the line.
The victory his Quintana’s first overall title since the 2017 Tirreno-Adriatico, as he has struggled to reach former heights in the last few seasons.
After winning the Giro d’Italia in 2014 and the Vuelta a España in 2016, Quintana has turned his attention to the Tour de France but has not managed to repeat his former glories, finishing 12th, 10th and eighth in the last three editions.
He said: “I am in good shape and on the next races on which I will line up, I can hope for good things.
“My first two victories of the season here in France are gifts for all cycling fans and all French supporters who follow me, and who support the Arkéa-Samsic team.
“It gives me strength and encouragement.”