Monte Terminillo changed the general classification with three days to go.
The queen-stage of Tirreno-Adriatico took place Saturday and headed out from Montalto di Castro under a blue and sunny sky, which witnessed a break form quite early on the day. Despite having a 10:30-advantage over the peloton at the halfway point, the six men were brought back quite easily and attacks began to fly from all over the peloton on the final ascent, as several riders showed an interest in taking the stage.
With around two kilometers remaining, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) put in a strong acceleration, powering away from all his rivals and nabbing the win at the top of Monte Terminillo, where he also slipped into the race lead; the Colombian is followed on the podium by Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), both more than half a minute behind him.
"The guys kept me out of trouble until the last climb. Then, when we hit the slopes of Terminillo, I felt I didn't have my best legs. I was able to stay with the main group until six kilometers to go, but I couldn't follow when the attacks started to come, so I paced myself and gave everything", said Bob Jungels, best placed Quick-Step Floors rider on the stage, who now lies in 14th place in the general classification.
Third at the 2016 edition of the race, the Luxembourger vowed to fight until the very end at this year's Tirreno-Adriatico and try to make the most out of the remaining days: "Terminillo was the toughest climb I did since the start of the season, but now I want to turn the page on it and focus on the upcoming stages. I am still motivated for this race."
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele