Dayer Quintana: "The goal was for Nairo to have a quiet day”
The 3rd stage of the Tour of Luxembourg ended in a sprint, and the mission of Nairo’s teams was to protect their leader so that he would have a quiet day before the time trial.
On the line
“It was a quiet stage for us in the end – even if it was very fast – because it was a sprint stage, but before that, we had to pay a lot of attention, a lot of concentration because a breakaway was formed and no team really wanted to control it, and finally, the teams that had an option to win this stage organized the chase but it was complicated. We came back to the runner a few hundred meters from the line. With the team, our mission was to be attentive and to stay together with Nairo during the whole race until the final part. The race has been going fast for three days on small roads with short, steep climbs, and many riders are tired. We know that Nairo is well at the moment and the objective was that he had a quiet stage today in preparation for the time trial tomorrow. This was done”.
“It was full throttle as usual. Quiet days or transition days are no longer part of the cycling vocabulary. That doesn’t exist anymore, we have seen it again with this 3rd stage of the Tour of Luxembourg, even for the sprint finishes it’s full steam ahead from start to finish. I was well at the start of the race, I was able to follow the moves, and the more it went on during the day, the more I felt the blow of yesterday with the efforts made, the rain that didn’t stop. But the important thing was to remain vigilant with regard to Nairo, after we had been given carte blanche to Laurent and me to make the sprint, if we had the possibility, but when we met in the final to talk about it we both shared the same opinion: we were both not top, and if one of us wanted to go, let him play his card. I finished without too much tension, and now we’ll see how the legs respond tomorrow”.
“There is no more transition stage today, it was still a complicated day, but we were well represented in the breakaway from the start. The first two hours were negotiated at an average of over 46 on a very bumpy terrain! But the Arkéa-Samsic team was omnipresent, and the guys did their job once again, as they have done since the beginning of this Tour of Luxembourg. Nairo was calm and supported throughout the day, protected by his team-mates. In the final, he felt that there was a small gap, a possible opening and he let Laurent Pichon ride. Nairo is in it, he is in the game. He is focused on this Tour of Luxembourg. He knows that tomorrow will be a big day for him and that the next one will be even bigger. The guys are ready, I am confident for the next two days, the balance of the Arkéa-Samsic team will only be established at the finish on Saturday in Luxembourg City”.