Quintana on right path in Valencia

© Peter Witek

Nairo claims 13th stagerace as a pro cyclist with Movistar Team in Spain, starts 2017 season with success after excellent work from Blues

Even though today's stage looked like it would be more difficult than than the real outcome, due to strong winds that ultimately forced to shorten it by almost 80km, Nairo Quintana and Movistar Team had no troubles to claim overall success in the 2017 Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana. The 51 kilometers between Paterna and Valencia, including five laps of a city circuit around the capital's City Hall, were completed with absolute composure by the squad directed by José Luis Jaimerena, which covered its leader perfectly to secure the Eusebio Unzué-managed team's second victory of the season.

Nairo's success, his 13th in a stagerace since he joined the Movistar Team in 2012 -14 in UCI races, counting the 2010 Tour de l'Avenir-, comes together with the teams' classification for the Blues, who limited their losses at the TTT and later managed themselves well through rain, wind and the mountains that led Nairo to yellow atop Mas de la Costa on Saturday. A good point of reference for a 2017 season that starts for Quintana just like 2016 ended: with a victory.

Nairo Quintana:

© Peter Witek

“I'm very happy about this victory. We knew it wouldn't be easy today, and indeed it turned out to be very nervous due to the strong winds we had to face. Fortunately, both the team and I kept attention at all times and in the end it was no problem for us to conserve this jersey. I don't consider it was an easier victory than previous ones. After so many months without racing, the TTT was really hard for us. Considering the gaps created by the team trial, we were thinking it'd be sort of an impossible feat to reach the leader's jersey. The other days weren't easy, either, as we suffered with strong winds, lots of stress... Saturday might have been a bit less difficult, because the team's work helped me to get to the foot of the ascent much fresh, and I could finish it off well. It's all about my team-mates' work: they covered me perfectly all week.

"My fitness level at this point of the season is similar to what I found last year. We've got two big goals ahead, the Giro and the Tour, and we know that finding the correct approach will be key to our success. For the time being, we're on the right path to get there at 100%, but should any other opportunities come along the way, we'll chase them. I'm one of those who likes winning in January or February, and I also try to be in good condition up until the end of the season. Now it's time to have some rest and prepare for the Abu Dhabi Tour and Tirreno-Adriatico, my next two races."

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