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Head and Shoulders Above the Rest

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Mar 15, 2015 – Movistar’s Colombian rider Nairo Quintana won the snow-bound fifth stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico on Sunday.

[AFP/Yuzuru Sunada

The Colombian, last year’s Giro d’Italia winner and 2013 Tour de France runner-up, finished the 197km stage between Esanatoglia and Terminillo 41 seconds ahead of the chasing peloton to take the race leader’s blue jersey from overnight pace-setter Wouter Poels of the Netherlands.

Quintana’s decisive attack came just 5 kilometers from the finish. After jumping out of the group and looking at his rivals, Quintana poured on the power and took off from the small group. Opening up an immediate gap, none of the GC contenders exept Bauke Mollema were able to respond to the floating Colombian.

After the stage, many might be questioning the form of Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali, in comparison to their counterparts Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana. Contador labored heavily following the attack from Quintana, and Nibali also became dropped when the Movistar rider made his move.

Quintana leads the overall standings by 39sec from Mollema with Uran at 48sec and France’s Thibault Pinot in fourth. Poels, successful in Saturday’s fourth stage, folded on the day’s last climb to slip back to tenth in the overall standings at 1min 13sec.

Monday’s sixth and penultimate stage is a 210km ride from Rieti to Porto Saint’Elpidio with the race concluding with Tuesday’s 10km time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto.

Winning attack of stage 5

Snow covered final kilometer

Results Stage 5:

1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar 5:26:03
2. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing +41
3. Joaquim Rodríguez (Spa) Katusha +55:00
4. Rigoberto Urán (Col) Etixx-QuickStep same time
5. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo same time

General Classification

1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar 19:54:45
2. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing +39
3. Rigoberto Urán (Col) Etixx-QuickStep +48
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ +57
5. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo +1:03