lunes, 17 de febrero de 2020

Noticiero El Big Picture del Deporte: CyclingTips, Nairo Quintana, 15% better, is a frightening prospect for those he’ll line up against in July

“He’s one of cycling’s greats,” Emmanuel Hubert said on the weekend. “And he’s still around 15% short of top form. There’s more to come.” Based on the weekend’s results, a Nairo Quintana that’s 15% better than that is a frightening prospect for those he’ll line up against in July. Maybe it’s not time to write him off just yet. Quintana has been a force in the mountains for as long as he’s been in the WorldTour, so it wasn’t necessarily surprising to see him producing a powerful performance on the slopes of Mont Ventoux. What was a surprise, however, was the way that he won, because it was a stunning rebuttal of all the criticism that’s been directed his way for the last couple of years.
  • On the climb up Mont Ventoux, Arkéa-Samsic delivered a tactical masterclass that underlined a burgeoning self-belief. The team massed to the front of the peloton as Ventoux loomed ahead, with Barguil and Quintana’s compatriot Winner Anacona ratcheting up the pace, stringing the peloton out behind them.
  • At 7.2 km to the stage finish, Anacona pulled to the side, and in the same instant, Quintana took flight, surging once, glancing back, and surging again. Jumbo-Visma climber Sepp Kuss was the only rider able to follow the acceleration, and that lasted all of 100 metres. By the finish line, Quintana had put 1:20 into his rivals, despite an organised chase behind him. It was, to quote Thibaut Pinot at the stage finish, “imperial”.  
  • Since Saturday’s result, more has been made of Quintana’s time up the climb than the victory itself. Some have breathlessly claimed that it’s the fastest ascent of Mont Ventoux in history – which it is, sort of, but the race finished at Chalet Reynard, halfway up the climb and before it exits the tree-line. Quintana had a tailwind, was alone off the front and didn’t have to play any tactical games – he could just concentrate on punching out a lazy 6.8 W/kg for the duration of his move.


CyclingTips, Don’t write Nairo Quintana off yet, Iain Treloar, February 17, 2020.

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