Quintana: At least we limited the time we lost

Eusebio Unzue’s involvement with the Movistar set-up stretches back more than 30 years, through the eras of Reynolds and Banesto, the reigns of Pedro Delgado and Miguel Indurain, but if he ever tires of team management, then a second career as a spin doctor surely awaits.

On the man-made island of Neeltje-Jans after stage 2 of the Tour de France, as a huddle of television crews and reporters swarmed around the Movistar team bus, Unzue was quick to put an optimistic slant on what has been an inauspicious start to Nairo Quintana’s bid for overall victory.

Quintana was caught on the wrong side when the peloton split after swinging into stiff crosswinds and stinging rain after leaving Rotterdam, with a little under 60 kilometres remaining, and he finished the day 1:28 down on the front group, which included Chris Froome (Sky) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo).

“In the end I’m happy because Nairo defended himself well in the final 50 kilometres, and our team did great work to help him,” said a smiling Unzue. “These are things that are to be expected, and what’s done is done.”

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