Nairo Quintana laid down a marker for his credentials to win the Vuelta a Espana with victory on degree two of the race.
Quintana held off the problem of Eire’s Nicolas Roche and Primoz Roglic to win by means of 5 seconds after 199.6km within the saddle.
However Roche holds the chief’s purple jersey by means of two seconds from Quintana.
The Colombian is chasing a 2d good fortune over the three-week race in Spain, having received in 2016.
Even though Sunday’s degree from Benidorm to Calpe started and completed at the coast, it was once an afternoon for the climbers and there are few higher than Quintana. The Movistar rider was once in a bunch of six chasing the degree win within the ultimate 10km.
He introduced a decisive assault within the ultimate 3km, which not one of the others may just fit and he crossed the road in a time of 5 hours 11 mins and 17 seconds to say his 10th degree victory in biking’s grand excursions – the Giro d’Italia, Excursion de France and Vuelta – a lot to the pride of the Colombian supporters there to cheer on him and Rigoberto Uran.
Roche and Roglic got here in 5 seconds in the back of him with normal classification contender Uran and Spain’s Mikel Nieve clocking the similar time in fourth and 5th respectively.
It was once sufficient for Sunweb’s Roche to finish the day in purple as chief of the GC standings for the primary time since 2013 when he additionally led after degree two. Astana’s Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez have been in purple after the opening-day crew time trial.
“It is a great feeling,” he informed Eurosport. “It is been six years now since I had the purple jersey, so it is a great day. Simply to be again within the chief’s jersey of a grand excursion, I am speechless.”
Roche is making an attempt to apply within the footsteps of Sean Kelly and change into an Irish winner of the Vuelta after Kelly’s triumph in 1988.
James Knox is the main Briton in 25th at the GC standings, already one minute 41 seconds in the back of Roche.
The race continues on Monday with a 188km flat degree from Ibi Ciudad del Juguete to Alicante.
Degree 2 consequence:
1. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) 5hrs 11 minutes 17 secs
2. Nicolas Roche (Ire/Sunweb) +Five secs
3. Primoz Roglic (Svn/Jumbo-Visma) +Five secs
4. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Schooling First) +Five secs
5. Fabio Aru (Ita/UAE Group Emirates) +Five secs
6. Mikel Nieve (Spa/Mitchelton Scott) +Eight secs
7. Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col/EF Schooling First) +37 secs
8. Tadej Podacar (Svn/UAE Group Emirates) +37 secs
9. Alexander Aranburu Deba (Spa/Caja Rural-Seguros) +37 secs
10. Alejandro Valverde (Spa/Movistar) +37 secs
Basic Classification standings (after degree two):
1. Nicolas Roche (Ire/Sunweb) 5hrs 26 minutes 12 secs
2. Nairo Quintana (Col/Movistar) +2 secs
3. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Schooling First) +Eight secs
4. Mikel Nieve (Spa/Mitchelton-Scott) +22 secs
5. Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Spa/Astana Professional) +33 secs
6. Primoz Roglic (Svn/UAE Group Emirates) +36 secs
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Sunweb) +38 secs
8. Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col/EF Schooling First) +40 secs
9. Davide Formolo (Ita/Bora-Hansgrohe) +40 secs
10. Rafal Majka (Pol/Bora-Hansgrohe) +46 secs