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Quintana: I lost the Tour de France in the first week

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Nairo Quintana (Movistar)

Nairo Quintana (Movistar)
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Nairo Quintana climbs Alp d'Huez during stage 20

Nairo Quintana climbs Alp d'Huez during stage 20
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Richie Porte marks Nairo Quintana on Alpe d'Huez

Richie Porte marks Nairo Quintana on Alpe d'Huez
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Alejandro Valverde leads Nairo Quintana through the gauntlet on Alpe d'Huez

Alejandro Valverde leads Nairo Quintana through the gauntlet on Alpe d'Huez
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Nairo Quintana finishes stage 20 in second.

Nairo Quintana finishes stage 20 in second. (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) had Chris Froome worried - and perhaps a few members of the press who had already written their copy - when he darted up the Alpe d’Huez with less than 10 kilometres remaining. The Colombian looked as strong as he’s been throughout this whole Tour, dancing on the pedals as he distanced Froome.

Quintana’s advantage built slowly at first but as it passed the minute mark, there were cheers among the Colombian contingent when it looked like he might do the unthinkable. The Movistar rider took a considerable amount of time on the yellow jersey, who admitted in his post-race press conference that he was on his limit in those final kilometres, but it wasn’t quite enough.

“To be second is not bad. It is two years since I was there and this year I started from zero, with a different position, and also I got another good result,” said Quintana. “I have confirmed that what I did before wasn’t a fluke and I have reiterated my capabilities. I am a little sad but not frustrated.