Great move of Movistar Team
One of the best stages in recent years in the Tour of Spain carried Nairo Quintana to the front of the overall standings. An attack almost at the start line, with the colombian and Alberto Contador as leading riders, has cut all the Team Sky including their leader Chris Froome, who has lost more than 2 minutes at the finish line of Formigal.
Valverde, after a difficult day in Aubisque, felt better and thoroughly worked for Nairo Quintana. The spaniard became the shadow of Froome in the final part and reinforcing his objective from now to the end of the Tour of Spain: to defend the lead of his Team Movistar teammate.
“I really didn’t enjoy today’s racing much, I struggled as badly as yesterday, though a bit closer to the front (all laughing and joking). It was a different way of suffering. We knew that such a short, tough course could create havoc. We took a big lead in the overall standings now – even though you can’t say this is already won, as many difficult days are still ahead, we’re many steps closer to our goal. It was a split created by both Alberto and us, a joint strategy which both teams took advantage from to create some gaps. Behind, and especially into the final ascent, I was always keeping Froome’s wheel, trying to make him nervous. And, as soon as he stopped taking turns, I jumped so he never recovered. What do I want to do now? Winning the red jersey with Nairo. Fighting for stages might be impossible for me, as you never want to cooperate with someone who is faster at a sprint, and at this point of the race, what really motivates me is staying close to Nairo”.
Photo and quotes: Movistar Team