26-07-2018, PROSPORTS Quintana soars to victory on Stage 17
Not all mountain stages of the Tour de France are created equal. At just 65 km in length with over 3000 metres of elevation, stage 17 was one of the most eagerly anticipated days of racing in years.
Such an explosive parcours with a summit finish on the Col du Portet high up in the Pyrenees was destined to be the domain of the pure climber. Nairo Quintana held nothing back to display why he is still one of the most feared riders in the world on this terrain, breaking away at the foot of the final climb and maintaining an asphyxiating tempo right to the summit. When he crossed the line solo aboard the Ultimate CF SLX, the feeling of a huge weight being lifted was sensed by all – a first stage for the Colombian since his breakthrough in 2013. Quintana had ascended.
No Grand Tour should ever be taken lightly, but the 2018 Tour de France proved a challenge for Movistar Team right from the gun. Bad luck with mechanicals saw Quintana lose time on the opening stages, while the aftershocks of Mikel Landa’s hard crash on the road to Roubaix were still being felt when the race hit the Alps.
While the team may have been down, they were never out, persisting with their attacking style ahead of every mountain test, placing riders in all the dangerous moves. Those tactics are what lead to an unassailable lead in the Team's Classification, as well as Quintana's famous stage win. Their race was saved.