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Grande Nairo! // © TDWsport.com

20-03-2015, CANYON Movistar Team captain shows who is toughest in blizzard conditions

Nairo Quintana wins Tirreno-Adriatico

On the snowbound slopes of Monte Terminillo high up in the Italian Apennines Nairo Quintana gave an emphatic display of his early-season form to take a commanding stage win and ultimately overall victory at Tirreno-Adriatico.

The 2015 edition of the Race between the Seas had been billed as a showdown between the world’s best climbers with the likes of Contador, Nibali, Uran and Mollema all fighting for the win. When put to the test on the Queen Stage, 190 gruelling cold and wet kilometres through the Apennines Mountains, it was Quintana who rose to the top by riding to victory with the Ultimate CF SLX.

Five kilometres from the line and with the falling rain rapidly turning to snow, the Columbian took a long look at the select group that had been formed and accelerated away from his rivals. Even on slick white roads Quintana kept building his lead, disappearing through the blizzard leaving his rivals to follow the tyre tracks left in the snow. In a race for hard men, the hardest man won.

The 2015 season may still be young but any gains made at this point will count when the big challenges roll around. For Quintana, that means the Tour de France. Adding the Tirreno-Adriatico Trident to his trophy cabinet is one important step towards that goal. The race for the Yellow Jersey has already begun.