Giro d'Italia: Nairo Quintana wins stage 19 individual time trial to extend overall lead
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 30/05/14 5:26pm
Nairo Quintana produced another peerless display of climbing to win stage 19's mountain time trial and extend his Giro d'Italia lead.
The Movistar rider crushed all of his rivals on a 26.8km course to Cima Grappa, beating an on-form Fabio Aru into second place by 17 seconds and Rigoberto Uran, his closest rival overall, into third by 1min 26sec.
Quintana now leads Uran in the general classification by 3min 7sec with just two stages remaining, while Aru’s excellent performance sees him rise to third, 3min 48sec back.
Saturday’s penultimate stage ends with a savagely difficult summit finish on the notorious Monte Zoncolan, but Quintana has grown stronger as the race has gone on and it is likely to take a remarkable performance from Uran to deny his fellow Colombian a first Grand Tour title.
Uran falls away
Quintana had taken a 1min 41sec overall lead into the 19th stage but was put under pressure early when Uran negotiated a flat opening 7.5km 16 seconds faster.
However, when the road started to climb up Cima Grappa - which is 19km long, averages eight per cent in gradient and has a maximum of 14 per cent – Quintana instantly began to show his superiority and was 33 seconds ahead after just a handful of kilometres.
His lead over Uran was 36 seconds by the second intermediate split, at 19.3km, at which point attention turned to who could challenge him for the stage win.
Up ahead, 23-year-old Aru was producing a brilliant ride and although he was eight seconds behind Quintana at the second split, he injected fresh pace to overtake the rider in front of him, Rafal Majka, and draw dead level with Quintana at the 3km-to-go point.
Quintana still had another gear, though, and delivered a devastating final 1.5km to seal a second stage win of this year’s race and put one hand on the Giro winner’s trophy.
Aru’s efforts did not go without reward, as he leapfrogged Pierre Rolland into the final podium position on the general classification and now leads the Frenchman by 1min 38sec.
Earlier in the day, Team Sky’s Sebastian Henao, who at 20 is the youngest rider in the race, put in another fine display to claim eighth on the day, 3min 48sec behind compatriot Quintana.
Stage 19 result
1 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, 1:05:37
2 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana, +17
3 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, +1:26
4 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar, +1:57
5 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-LA Mondiale, +2:24
6 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela, +3:22
7 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo, +3:28
8 Sebastian Henao (Col) Team Sky, +3:48
9 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol, +4:00
10 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Team Sky, +4:10
1 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, 79:03:045
2 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, +3:07
3 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana, +3:48
4 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar, +4:26
5 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-LA Mondiale, +6:16
6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo, +6:59
7 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC, +9:25
8 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin, +9:29
9 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp, +10:11
10 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing, +13:59