La Vuelta 8: Nairo Quintana: "We were waiting for Froome’s attack, which obviously came, and we had energy enough to respond to it."

Nairo Quintana:
The smile I carried through the finish line was just a grimace of pure suffering. But happily, we achieved our goal of the day. This was my main expectation for the day: trying and putting some time on our rivals. We started, however, those steep slopes of La Camperona with much caution; we were waiting for Froome’s attack, which obviously came, and we had energy enough to respond to it. I was coming to this Vuelta with lots of ambition, like in every single GT I start, but it always boosts your confidence to see you’re a little bit ahead of your rivals for one day.
It’s never soon to get a leader’s jersey: it’s better to be ahead with a few seconds than trying desperately to make them up from behind. The GC is looking quite sorted out, which is reasonable, taking into account that we’ve raced really fast over the week, with demanding stages which take its toll in finishes like today’s. From now onwards, with such a strong team that we have, I’m sure I’ll defend myself well, starting off with tomorrow, when we will wait and see how things go.”

Alejandro Valverde:
“What else can I ask for in this race? I’ve spent many days on the fight, I’m still in 2nd overall after a demanding finish, I’ve contested the stage wins many times… and now we’ve got Nairo in the lead, and should he need any help, he’ll find it from myself. I’m super happy with the result up to this point. It was actually a bit of my task into the steepest part of the climb, pulling so the pace didn’t stop into the first kilometer. We really hit the front hard in the beginning of the ascent, as we tried to avoid any crashes nor troubles.
Froome upped the pace at a certain point - he’s one who really develops a plan, riding by his own pace and knowing where he can go full-gas - and Nairo reacted really well, countered and grabbed some nice seconds. He rode really well. Some interesting days are ahead for us. I’ll try to profit from any chances I find, while I help Nairo chase his goal. I’m satisfied with the fact that I’m here, in this Vuelta, after two GTs, in such a good position. And while it lasts, I won’t stop going.”

1 Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Team Katusha 4:09:30
2 Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:10
3 Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Direct Energie 0:00:17
4 Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre - Merida 0:00:24
5 Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:40
6 Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data 0:00:55
7 Scott Thwaites (GBr) Bora-Argon 18 0:01:11
8 Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Astana Pro Team 0:01:30
9 Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Team Katusha
10 Loïc Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:01:44
11 Zico Waeytens (Bel) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:02:38
12 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:04:41
13 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team 0:05:06
14 Sergio Pardilla (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:05:14
15 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
16 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
17 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Sky 0:05:23
18 Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Drapac 0:05:30
19 Daniel Moreno (Spa) Movistar Team 0:05:35
20 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-BikeExchange 0:05:38
1 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 29:55:54
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:19
3 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:27
4 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-BikeExchange 0:00:57
5 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Sky 0:01:16
6 Darwin Atapuma (Col) BMC Racing Team 0:01:36
7 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team 0:01:39
8 Daniel Moreno (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:44
9 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:01:46
10 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team

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