Having started the race so well with a stage win on Sunday courtesy of Nairo Quintana, Movistar were today yet again suspect of the kind of baffling tactics that characterised their farcical Tour de France.
- It had seemed that Quintana had confirmed his status as outright, undisputed team leader for the GC, however Alejandro Valverde appeared to be riding against his team-mate on today’s summit finish. After Quintana was dropped following Valverde’s acceleration, the Spaniard opted to continue pushing on with GC rivals like Roglič rather than wait and support his supposed team leader.
- With the three breakaway riders still way up the road, there was no chance of Valverde claiming a stage victory, so we can only presume that he does, contrary to his pre-race comments, fancy his chances of a high GC finish for himself.
- With a move to Arkéa-Samsic next season all but confirmed, it seems Quintana can command no loyalty from Valverde and perhaps even the rest of the team.
- Both riders look strong, and are still well-positioned on GC at third and fourth overall respectively, but a lack of cohesive riding could end up costing them a potential overall victory.
Cycling Weekly, Five talking points from stage five of the Vuelta a España 2019, Stephen Puddicombe, August 28, 2019.
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