Nairo Quintana of Arkéa-Samsic celebrates winning the Green Leader Jersey after stage 3 at Volta a Catalunya (Image credit: Getty Images)
“Sometimes you have to cry in silence,” was how new Volta a Catalunya race leader Nairo Quintana ( Arkéa-Samsic ) summed up his last few seasons in which he has taken some impressive lower level wins but failed to net a major result in a WorldTour race.
However, that changed radically on Thursday as on the toughest stage of the Volta a Catalunya Quintana donned his first race lead in a WorldTour event since he briefly headed the 2019 Vuelta a España in the first week.
Second in a three-way sprint for the line against winner João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) and fellow Colombian Sergio Higuita (Bora-Hansgrohe), Quintana is now tied on time with the Portuguese racer.
However, his better stage places mean Quintana is now in the overall lead and while he is likely to face a dramatic fight in the three remaining hilly stages, after two tough years, there was a distinct feeling of redemption in the air when Quintana faced the press.
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“I’ve always felt good on the bike,” Quintana said when asked if his overall lead represented a return to the […]