Nairo Quintana wins Tour de Romandie

Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEDGE) kept his streak of stage wins in the Tour de Romandie running by taking a victory for the third year in a row on the hilly final stage of the race.

Having spent the day in a formidable 10-rider breakaway, the Swiss stayed calm in a hugely confusing finale to neutralize a late attack from Tom Bohli (BMC) and hold off both his breakaway companions Andrey Amador (Movistar) and Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo) and the fast approaching sprinters to take his sixth stage win in just three years. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) retained his 19-second advantage over Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) while his teammate Ion Izagirre completed the podium.

Nairo Quintana: “It wasn’t a calm day at all. I was feeling a bit nervous due to the weather. It was so cold in the early morning, we even woke up to snow in our hotel. It’s not easy to defend oneself in such a situation, you start the stage unprepared and require more time to get into the right temperature. However, the team was at the correct place all the time, the forecast changed a bit and things ended up well. It’s a bittersweet day, since Ion crashed and couldn’t join us for the podium. Let’s hope it’s nothing serious for him.

“At times this victory seemed like it would be way harder to claim than it was at the end, especially before the TT, considering how strong our rivals for that day we thought they would be compared to us. Fortunately, as well in Sion as yesterday in Villars my legs responded well; the team was fantastic all week and we covered the final stage without any complications. Compliments for what they did in Romandie are more than deserved and I’ve won this one thanks to their tireless effort. But we must not relax. The Romandie win gives us confidence and calmness, and the whole group is strong, so no matter who we bring to the Tour, we’ll be well protected. However, things can change before July and surely our rivals will bring powerful squads to the Tour. We will be just one team between many contenders. You ask me about the myth about one winning Romandie and going on to win the Tour – I hope that legend is true, so we can make the ‘Yellow Dream’ become real.

“I was glad to see all the Colombians happy for what I did this week, both those at home and the ones joining us here in Switzerland. This passion and excitement we always put at everything we do is a way to show the beautiful side of our country. This victory is a tribute to all of them. Now I’m heading home to stay with my family for some weeks and train in Colombia before the Tour. Later on, we will decide which race suits me best for the month of June. Why not riding the Tour de Suisse? I like this country, they’ve always treated me well here. I’ve still not decided what to do, though. What is clear to me is we’ve got a goal, we know how to work for it and we don’t have to worry about what others do. We’ll do our thing as good as we can so we can reach the start of the Tour in the best possible condition.”

Tour de Romandie 2016 – stage 5 results (Ollon – Genève):

1 Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEDGE)

4:13:17

2 Andrey Amador (Movistar)

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3 Wilco Kelderman (LottoNl-Jumbo)

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4 Niccolò Bonifazio (Trek-Segafredo)

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5 Moreno Hofland (LottoNl-Jumbo)

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6 Kristian Sbaragli (Dimension Data)

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7 Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEDGE)

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8 Tom Bohli (BMC)

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9 Carlos Verona (Etixx – Quick-Step)

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10 Jarlinson Pantano (IAM)

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Final general classification:

1 Nairo Quintana (Movistar)

16:20:20

2 Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)

+19”

3 Ion Izagirre (Movistar)

+23”

4 Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha)

+26”

5 Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin)

+57”

6 Rui Costa (Lampre – Merida)

+01’12”

7 Simon Špilak (Katusha)

+01’16”

8 Mathias Frank (IAM)

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9 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo)

+01’24”

10 Tejay van Garderen (BMC)

+01’27”

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