Nairo Quintana (Movistar) claimed overall victory in the 2013 Tour of the Basque Country with an impressive second place in the final stage time trial.
World time trial champion, Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), won the stage, but the ride of the day came from the 23-year-old Columbian, who delivered a committed ride on a rain-slicked course.
Team Sky’s Sergio Henao, another Columbian, who had started the day as race leader after claiming the yellow jersey by winning stage three, made it onto the final podium by a single second. Benat Intxausti (Movistar) was third on the stage.
Henao, competent against the clock but more notable for his climbing skills, finished 11-seconds behind Simon Spilak (Katusha), retaining a one-second advantage over the Slovenian on general classification.
Richie Porte, Heanao’s team-mate and winner of Paris-Nice, was comfortably defeated by Quintana, finishing 13 seconds behind the Columbian and 40-seconds behind stage winner, Martin.
The Australian, winner of stage five, crossed the line missing his visor, and with an exhausted expression. He had begun the day six seconds behind Quintana on GC and had been widely tipped to claim overall victory today, perhaps judged on his superb performance in winning the final stage Col d’Eze time trial at Paris-Nice.
Quintana, however, claimed the race and the admiration of many with a gutsy performance on a technical course, on which he tip-toed around the final left-hand bend in the centre of Beasin, before giving everything in his surge for the line.
The Columbian, who said he had nearly crashed on the course, dedicated the victory to his team-mates and supporters.
Vuelta Ciclista a Pais Vasco: stage six – result
1) Tony Martin (GER) – Omega Pharma-QuickStep) – 35.05
2) Nario Quintana (COL) – Movistar +17″
3) Benat Intxausti (ESP) – Movistar +32″
4) Richie Porte (AUS) – Team Sky +40″
5) Simon Spilak (SLO) – Katusha +48″
6) Jean Christophe-Peraud (FRA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale + 51″
7) Sergio Henao (COL) – Team Sky +57″
8) Carlos Betancur (COL) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +1.05
9) Pieter Weening (NED) – Orica-GreenEDGE +1.06
10) Alberto Contdaor (ESP) – Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank +1.07
1) Nairo Quintana (COL) – Movistar – 21.39.35
2) Richie Porte (AUS) – Team Sky +23″
3) Sergo Henao (COL) – Team Sky + 34″
4) Simon Spilak (SLO) – Katusha + 35″
5) Alberto Contador (ESP) – Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank +54″
6) Pieter Weening (NED) – Orica-GreenEDGE + 1.18″
7) Carlos Betancur (COL) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +1.19″
8) Benat Intxausti (ESP) – Movistar + 1.57
9) Wouter Poels (NED)- Vacansoleil-DCM +2.47
10) John Gadret (FRA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale + 2.56