Quintana: It's going to be difficult to hold the Vuelta a Espana lead

Vuelta a Espana 2019 stage 9
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Nairo Quintana has returned to the lead of the Vuelta a España for the first time since the Movistar rider won Spain’s Grand Tour outright in 2016, but the Colombian is not optimistic about his chances of keeping it, at least in the short-term.

On stage 9, Quintana and teammate Alejandro Valverde alternated attacks on Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) prior to the Cortals d’Encamp finale, then when both Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) and Roglic crashed and fell, the two Movistar contenders found themselves ahead.

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Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.