Colombian announces himself on the Kitzbüheler Horn
On the queen stage of the Tour of Austria that saw riders cover a wet and cold 206km to arrive at the top of the Kitzbüheler Horn, it was Dayer Quintana (Movistar) who announced himself to be much more than Nairo's brother by soloing to victory
The 21-year-old signed for the WorldTour team in October last year and was handed starts at three monuments in the Spring – Milan San Remo, Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix – but had started only two stage races prior to the 2.HC Austrian race and had not raced since the Giro del Trentino in April.
"I felt physically well before this race and wanted to test my legs," Quintana said after the stage. "I wasn't planning to get into today's breakaway, though - we were just controlling the race, but at some point, we were into a group of ten up-front. I had to keep going after making the group, and also profiting of the gap staying the same practically until the foot of the climb."
With only 'Didi the Devil' for company on the upper slopes of the climb, Quintana explained he was unsure what his advantage on the road was over the chasers.
"I took a strong relay into the first slopes and when I could realize, I was alone," he said. "I told to myself: 'It's now or never.' I went on full steam until the finish - there were no time references, only visual ones, and until I got into the final 200 meters, I didn't feel I could win."
Quintana finished 54 seconds ahead of Cannondale's Damiano Caruso and race leader Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky) and moved up to 11th overall, 2:39 minutes down on Kennaugh who held onto the race lead.
Having gone home for a two-month stint of training, Quintana said his first professional win was the best way to say thank you for all the support he has received from friends, family and the team.
"I just couldn't believe myself, it was spectacular," he said. "I cried out of emotion, and in a matter of thousandths of a second, everyone important in my life came to my mind: my team, my family, Nairo, my girlfriend. This is the best way I had to reward them for everyone they did for me.
"This win convinces myself I'm not just Nairo's brother - I can win as well, things are achievable when you take efforts."
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