Classic Grand Besançon, Nairo 4th
Nairo Quintana finishes 4th of the Classic Grand Besançon, which was finished in a sprint and in small groups.
On the line
“I tried to make a selection in order to avoid a sprint. I tried my luck but my competitors here were strong and came back on me. Fourth place in a difficult race but with few mountains is good for me. The feeling is good, my legs are good. I can only praise the work of my team-mates who were well placed during the whole day, everyone in the Arkéa-Samsic team worked to make the selection during the race in the hardest pass of the day, after which I went on the offensive. I found myself alone in front but there were not enough difficulties for me to increase my lead and arrive alone, and behind the others rode hard. I finished 4th in this race. I like to win, I like to be on the podium but to be 4th here is good, tomorrow it will be another race and we will have to do well, I believe the Arkéa-Samsic team, in my legs, the Tour du Jura will be an opportunity for us. The upcoming races are very important to prepare for the mountainous classics at the end of the season”.
“At the briefing it was decided that Nairo would go on the offensive on the climb with fifteen kilometres to go and I had to be in a good position and I had to hold on to the peloton in case of a sprint finish. Nairo did as agreed: he attacked and I was not far from taking the wheels of his group. I was just two or three places short of the front of the peloton, about ten meters. Once Nairo was in front, I didn’t make the jump to bring the whole group back. The team controlled the counter-attacks in the peloton. Kevin placed me very well until two hundred metres from the line. I launch and nobody comes back to me…”.
“We had two cards in case of two different scenarios of the race. Nairo had to attack in the final to make the race harder and why not win solo, and Matîs was our card in case of a sprint finish in small groups. We didn’t come very close. Nairo showed that he is in great shape at the end of the season. The course was not necessarily adapted to his qualities, which makes us optimistic for the next races. He showed us his great form. He attacked, he was offensive as requested, with more selective bumps in the final, I think he will try to win…”.