Tour of the Basque Country 2013: stage four – report

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) has won the foruth stage of the 2013 Tour of the Basque Country.

The diminutive climber continued an emphatic race for Columbia by leading home yesterday’s stage winner, and countryman, Sergio Henao (Team Sky).

Their positions are reversed on the general classification, with Henao leading the race from Quintana by six seconds.

Nairo Quintana, pictured here winning stage six of the 2012 Dauphine Libere, scored another victory for Columbia on stage four of the 2013 Tour of the Basque Country

Another Columbian, Carlos Betancur (Ag2r-La Mondiale), beaten by Henao by inches on stage three, finished fourth today, and moved to sxith overall.

Team Sky, reduced to just six riders, put up a tough fight to defend the interests of Henao, and team leader, Richie Porte.

The Paris-Nice winner finished sixth on the stage but is third on GC, just 10 seconds behind his young Columbian team-mate.

Team Sky’s Jon Tiernan-Locke, winner last year of the Tour of Britain, was among those who helped to set the tempo for his more accomplished team-mates on a rain-lashed day in the Basque Country.

The British squad shut down a notable attack that included defending champion, Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), and Irishman, Nicholas Roche (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank).

By the time the race reached the last of six categorised climbs, shoe-horned into a 151.6km parcours, the peloton was back together and the contenders placed at the head of affairs.

Tomorrow’s 166.1km stage features 10 categorised climbs. Team Sky’s directeur sportif, Nicolas Portal, said it would be the toughest yet.

“Tomorrow is probably the hardest stage of the week. It is not a summit finish but it is very hard. There’s barely any flat terrain. The final circuit we do the same steep climb three times. We’ll look to do the same thing today. Stay calm and be ready for the fight.”

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Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco 2013 – stage four – result

1) Nario Quintana (COL) – Movistar – 3.58.52
2) Sergio Henao (COL) – Team Sky +2′
3) Alberto Contador (ESP) – Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank – ST
4) Carlos Betancur (COL) – Ag2r-La Mondiale
5) Simon Spilak (SLO) – Katusha
6) Richie Porte (AUS) – Team Sky
7) Jean-Christophe Peraud (DRA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale
8) Pieter Weening (NED) – Orica-GreenEDGE
9) Samuel Sanchez (SPA) – Euskaltel-Euskadi
10) Alberto Losada (ESP) – Katusha

General classification

1) Sergio Henao (COL) – Team Sky – 16.23.20
2) Nairo Quintana (COL) – Movistar +6″
3) Richie Porte (AUS) – Team Sky +10″
4) Alberto Contador (ESP) – Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank – ST
5) Simon Spilak (SLO) – Katusha
6) Carlos Betancur (COL) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +21″
7) Jean-Christophe Peraud (FRA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +26″
8) Pieter Weening (NED) – Orica-GreenEDGE +35″
9) Giampoalo Caruso (ITA) – Katusha
10) Samuel Sanchez (ESP) – Euskaltel-Euskadi +47″


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