Quintana defends tactics: “There is a lot of mountains in this Tour”

Everyone is asking why Nairo Quintana didn’t at least make one run at yellow jersey Chris Froome in the wet and wild Arcalis summit. Sky’s leader even wondered out loud, “We’d like to think he was on his limit.”

Speaking to the media on the Tour’s first rest day, Quintana said it’s important to pick the right moment to attack.

“There is a lot of mountains in this Tour,” he said. “You don’t want to kill yourself just in one day, knowing that the rivals are very strong. There was a brutal change in temperature, and everyone was going at their limit.”

“You have to take the race day by day, and look for an opportunity to attack,” he said. “On other occasions, I had already lost more time, so there will be moments to take back these 23 seconds, and perhaps take more. Froome is strong, but I also feel very good.”

Movistar is hoping that Quintana’s consistency over three weeks will open the door for an opportunity to topple Froome, who has shown vulnerability in the third week.

“I’d love to win on Ventoux, where some of the mythic riders in cycling have won, but Froome is also strong,” Quintana said. “We have to see how the other rivals are. We don’t want to lose our heads, and use up our strength, and then let others take advantage.

“I am well-prepared,” he insisted. “I am sure we will meet in a ‘mano a mano’ duel, and the legs will decide.”

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