Quintana: We have to back Valverde now at Vuelta a Espana

They had said all along that the road would decide who would be the leader of the Movistar Team, and in the end it did. As the tarmac turned to concrete just under four kilometres from the top of the Monte Oiz on stage 17 of the Vuelta a España, Nairo Quintana quietly lost contact with the group of overall contenders. He would only slip further back as the gradients reached infernal levels and, with that, the debate which had been simmering since the start of the Vuelta, evaporated into the mist that shrouded the Basque mountain.

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