Quintana wins in the rain on Arrate finish

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) won the rain-hit stage four of the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco from Trapagaran to Eibar with Sergio Henao (Team Sky) finishing a close second and Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) in third on the climb to the finish in the Basque hills.

Henao retained his overall lead in the race although Quintana clipped off two seconds to reduce the gap to six seconds. Richie Porte (Team Sky) remains in third, 10 seconds off yellow.

The Colombian slipped clear of a select group on the brief descent to the finish line, using his descending skills to distance a group of six riders who broke clear on the final climb of the stage.

Tejay van Garderen (BMC) and Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) both lost time, with Talansky crashing after crossing the finish line, like Peraud did a few seconds before him. Neither were hurt.

"It's a very important win for me because this is one of the biggest races in the WorldTour," said Quintana. "It's a massive joy for me and a huge boost of confidence for the future, because this climb has such a rich history, and the weather conditions all day, with cold and rain, make it really special.

"I knew the finale, because we went on a recon and we saw that the final meters were the key for the result. I took chances there and it paid off."

Despite the rainy conditions a breakaway group went clear in the first part of the race with Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Eduard Vorganov (Katusha), Daniele Ratto (Cannondale), Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) and Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r-La Mondiale) establishing a lead over five minutes. With Velits just 1:49 down overall, Team Sky was forced into action and with two climbs to go they looked to be struggling to keep the Omega man in check.

With 28km to go the leaders still had 4:50 although they had been reduced to three with Velits and Montaguti keeping company with a tiring Ratto.

On the penultimate climb with a 5.2% average, Movistar moved to the front to set up Quintana. The pace increase was enough to burn off Team Sky’s Joe Dombrowski who had been working hard, with the trio’s lead down to 2:48. The Spanish team had both the stage and the overall on their mind and Henao looked isolated with just Richie Porte for company after Vasil Kiryienka overshot a corner.

On the lower slopes of the final climb Ratto was the first to succumb to the gradient as Movistar looked to thin down the list of contenders behind. The bunch lined out, and one by one riders began to slip backwards and lose time.

José Herrada (Movistar), Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge) and Simon Spilak (Katusha) had other ideas. Herrada instigated the move in a bid to draw out Porte and weaken Henao’s allies and it looked to be working when the Australian moved up to the front of the reduced peloton.

Velits and Montaguti were by now pedalling squares and they were duly caught and dispatched inside the five kilometre mark as a determined Spilak built up a 27-second lead with 4.5km to go. With the Slovenian 10 seconds off yellow Henao couldn’t afford to wait and he and Porte traded turns, with an attentive Contador in close quarters.

Spilak’s lead crumbled to 12 seconds as the chasers upped the pace, with the group reduced to Porte, Contador, Henao and Quintana, with Ag2r-La Mondiale's Jean-Christophe Peraud and Carlos Betancur hanging on for dear life. As the road flattened out at the summit Spilak was caught and the short descent to the finish began.

It was all about nerve and determination on the slippery roads. Quintana had both and edged away to win and show he is also a major contender for overall victory.

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Full Results
1Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team3:58:52
2Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling0:00:02
3Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 2 - Cell 2
4Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) AG2R La MondialeRow 3 - Cell 2
5Simon Spilak (Slo) KatushaRow 4 - Cell 2
6Richie Porte (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 5 - Cell 2
7Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 6 - Cell 2
8Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge0:00:16
9Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:00:23
10Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Katusha0:00:24
11Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 10 - Cell 2
12Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 11 - Cell 2
13Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha0:00:27
14John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 13 - Cell 2
15Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 14 - Cell 2
16Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp0:00:28
17Cayetano José Sarmiento Tunarrosa (Col) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:00:30
18Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:33
19Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-SharpRow 18 - Cell 2
20José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:54
21Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team0:00:57
22Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team0:01:02
23Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
24Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:01:16
25Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 24 - Cell 2
26Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 25 - Cell 2
27Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 26 - Cell 2
28Yoann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 27 - Cell 2
29Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 28 - Cell 2
30Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 29 - Cell 2
31Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack Leopard0:01:33
32Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:01:41
33Matthew Busche (USA) RadioShack Leopard0:02:07
34Kevin De Weert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 33 - Cell 2
35Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:02:33
36Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:02:45
37Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:02:50
38Andre Fernando S. Martins Cardoso (Por) Caja RuralRow 37 - Cell 2
39Marcos Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural0:02:53
40Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin-Sharp0:03:00
41Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack Leopard0:03:21
42Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Argos-Shimano0:03:38
43Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 42 - Cell 2
44Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 43 - Cell 2
45Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 44 - Cell 2
46Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 45 - Cell 2
47Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:03:56
48Pieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 47 - Cell 2
49Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team0:04:30
50Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:04:50
51Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 50 - Cell 2
52Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 51 - Cell 2
53Christian Meier (Can) Orica-GreenEdge0:05:23
54Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team0:05:31
55Paul Martens (Ger) Blanco Pro Cycling Team0:05:32
56Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing TeamRow 55 - Cell 2
57Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:06:49
58Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha0:07:12
59Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 58 - Cell 2
60Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 59 - Cell 2
61Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 60 - Cell 2
62Egor Silin (Rus) Astana Pro TeamRow 61 - Cell 2
63Simone Stortoni (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 62 - Cell 2
64Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 63 - Cell 2
65Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar Team0:08:01
66Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 65 - Cell 2
67Maciej Paterski (Pol) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 66 - Cell 2
68Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 67 - Cell 2
69Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 68 - Cell 2
70Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 69 - Cell 2
71Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:08:55
72Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha0:08:59
73Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 72 - Cell 2
74Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 73 - Cell 2
75Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Sky ProcyclingRow 74 - Cell 2
76Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 75 - Cell 2
77Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack LeopardRow 76 - Cell 2
78Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha0:09:02
79Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:09:22
80Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 79 - Cell 2
81Thierry Hupond (Fra) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 80 - Cell 2
82Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp0:09:26
83Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 82 - Cell 2
84Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Lampre-MeridaRow 83 - Cell 2
85Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 84 - Cell 2
86Ivan Velasco Murillo (Spa) Caja RuralRow 85 - Cell 2
87Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 86 - Cell 2
88Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:11:17
89Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:12:22
90Federico Canuti (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:12:26
91Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge0:13:29
92Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJRow 91 - Cell 2
93Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge0:13:32
94Omar Fraile Matarranza (Spa) Caja RuralRow 93 - Cell 2
95Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Sky ProcyclingRow 94 - Cell 2
96Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 95 - Cell 2
97Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin-SharpRow 96 - Cell 2
98Alex Howes (USA) Garmin-SharpRow 97 - Cell 2
99Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 98 - Cell 2
100Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 99 - Cell 2
101Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 100 - Cell 2
102Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJRow 101 - Cell 2
103Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 102 - Cell 2
104Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 103 - Cell 2
105Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Sky Procycling0:15:34
106Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 105 - Cell 2
107Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 106 - Cell 2
108Dominik Nerz (Ger) BMC Racing TeamRow 107 - Cell 2
109Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 108 - Cell 2
110Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 109 - Cell 2
111Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 110 - Cell 2
112Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 111 - Cell 2
113Danail Andonov Petrov (Bul) Caja RuralRow 112 - Cell 2
114Fabricio Ferrari Barcelo (Uru) Caja RuralRow 113 - Cell 2
115Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 114 - Cell 2
116Lawrence Warbasse (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 115 - Cell 2
117Thomas Peterson (USA) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 116 - Cell 2
118Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) FDJRow 117 - Cell 2
119Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Lotto BelisolRow 118 - Cell 2
120Sergei Chernetckii (Rus) KatushaRow 119 - Cell 2
121Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ0:15:41
122Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:16:59
123Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:18:10
124Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:18:32
125Laurent Didier (Lux) RadioShack LeopardRow 124 - Cell 2
126Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Garmin-SharpRow 125 - Cell 2
127Nikita Novikov (Rus) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 126 - Cell 2
128Andy Schleck (Lux) RadioShack LeopardRow 127 - Cell 2
129Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural0:18:35
130Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 129 - Cell 2
131Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack LeopardRow 130 - Cell 2
132David Tanner (Aus) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 131 - Cell 2
133Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 132 - Cell 2
134Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 133 - Cell 2
135Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 134 - Cell 2
136Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 135 - Cell 2
137Laurent Mangel (Fra) FDJRow 136 - Cell 2
138Bram Tankink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 137 - Cell 2
139Antonio Piedra Perez (Spa) Caja RuralRow 138 - Cell 2
140Juraj Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 139 - Cell 2
141Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 140 - Cell 2
142Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 141 - Cell 2
143Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 142 - Cell 2
144Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 143 - Cell 2
145Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Garmin-SharpRow 144 - Cell 2
146Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 145 - Cell 2
147Brian Vandborg (Den) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 146 - Cell 2
148Petr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha0:20:06
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1Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team25pts
2Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling20Row 1 - Cell 3
3Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff16Row 2 - Cell 3
4Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) AG2R La Mondiale14Row 3 - Cell 3
5Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha12Row 4 - Cell 3
6Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling10Row 5 - Cell 3
7Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale9Row 6 - Cell 3
8Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge8Row 7 - Cell 3
9Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi7Row 8 - Cell 3
10Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Katusha6Row 9 - Cell 3
11Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team5Row 10 - Cell 3
12Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida4Row 11 - Cell 3
13Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha3Row 12 - Cell 3
14John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale2Row 13 - Cell 3
15Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida1Row 14 - Cell 3
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Sprint 1 - Eibar, 79.6km
1Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale3pts
2Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick Step2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Sprint 2 - Ermua, 108.2km
1Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling3pts
2Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Sprint 3 - Eibar 143.1km
1Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale3pts
2Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick Step2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 2 - Cell 2 Row 2 - Cell 3
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Mountain 1 - Alto Pagatza (Cat 2) 59km
1Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling6pts
2Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale4Row 1 - Cell 3
3Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha2Row 2 - Cell 3
4Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits1Row 3 - Cell 3
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Mountain 2 - Alto de Karabieta (Cat 2) 87km
1Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha6pts
2Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale4Row 1 - Cell 3
3Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick Step2Row 2 - Cell 3
4Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling1Row 3 - Cell 3
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Mountain 3 - Alto de Ixua (Cat 1) 116km
1Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick Step10pts
2Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale8Row 1 - Cell 3
3Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling6Row 2 - Cell 3
4Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha4Row 3 - Cell 3
5Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits2Row 4 - Cell 3
6Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Sky Procycling1Row 5 - Cell 3
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Mountain 4 - Alto de San Miguel (Cat 2) 130km
1Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick Step6pts
2Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale4Row 1 - Cell 3
3Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling2Row 2 - Cell 3
4Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha1Row 3 - Cell 3
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