Nairo Quintana (Movistar) has made it through the nerve-shredding first four stages of the Tour de France with his GC options intact and ready to take his place in what he considers the Tour's first major exam for the overall contenders on stage 5 in the Massif Centrale.
"Today's stage was dangerous, but we got through it well, without any incidents and that was what counts," Quintana told Spanish reporters at the line in Limoges.
"Tomorrow's stage  is good for us, it's mountainous and it will be the first big test for all of us."
Currently lying seventh overall, after finishing 44th in Thursday's stage 4, Quintana recognised that "it's a tough stage, but I hope to go well. Then it's into the Pyrenees where I hope to be in good condition."
Movistar team manager Eusebio Unzue said he's not expecting a huge sort-out on stage 5, but he does expect a small group of front-runners at the finish.
"Normally, all the top contenders will be in it," Unzue said. "I think the most important thing is that it will create something of a hierarchy on GC which will cut down on the stress levels in the peloton, that, up to now, have been worryingly high."
Discussing the finishes, Unzue said, "We've seen riders going at 60 or 70 km/h dodging road furniture as best they can and that's dangerous for everybody. Luckily, on our part, we've come through in good shape and with all our options intact."
Regarding Alberto Contador (Tinkoff), Unzue recognised that for the injured Spanish Tour contender, "It'll be a real test, we'll find out a lot more about what his underlying condition is like. Given he hasn't lost time today [stage 4] on such a complicated, fast final, that confirms to me that he is on the way back up again and his recovery process has begun. Tomorrow, I'm sure he'll be either with or very close to the other favourites at the finish."
Asked if Movistar's big guns would wheel into action on stag 5, Unzue responded that he was not definitively planning to race aggressively tomorrow, rather, as he put it somewhat ambiguously, "That's not necessarily our aim. For the moment we'll settle with holding on to what we've got until the Pyrenees, where, compared to the previous days, we'll see a very different race begin."
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.