Many had expected a Quintana to be high up in the general classification after stage 4 of the Tour de San Luis, however when the stage finished it wasn’t the Quintana that they expected. Nairo Quintana’s younger brother Dayer launched an attack near the foot of the final climb but was soon caught by two chasers, including stage winner Eduard Sepulveda.
The 23-year-old was unable to hold onto Sepulveda but did hold on to finish fourth on the stage and now sits second in the overall classification, three seconds back. However, the Movistar plan had originally been to put his elder brother into a similar position.
“When I made the attack I wasn’t thinking about the general classification, I was riding for the team,” he said after the stage. “My attack was planned to help Nairo, and that he would link up with me and attack in the final.
“I am happy to have been with the greats but I’m sad because we weren’t able to complete our goal.”
Being in the limelight is a position that the younger Quintana is less used to, and he joked after the stage that the fans had been shouting his brother’s name at him as he ascended the climb. Nairo Quintana wouldn’t roll across the line for another forty seconds after Dayer. He remains inside the top five at 42 seconds behind Sepulveda, well within reach of the overall victory, and he remained pragmatic about the situation at the end of the stage.
“The idea was to link up with my brother and attack in the final. I would have been really happy to win the stage but there are times that things don’t go how you want,” he said.
The Quintanas and Movistar will get a chance to unseat Sepulveda from his spot at the top of the general classification on Saturday. Despite things going wrong today, they will have another pop at trying to break the peloton together.
“Yes, there we will know who will take the title," said Nairo. "We will try to do something similar to today and see if that works. I would like him to win because of the work he has done he deserves a prize and I hope that he will get one soon.”