Nairo Quintana (Movistar) bounced back in the final stage to win the Vuelta a Burgos on Sunday.
“It’s a real important win for me, not just for the sake of victory, but also because it gives me massive confidence before the Vuelta a España,” said Quintana. “I’m sure there are rivals quite stronger than me at the moment, but this shows I’ll be getting to the race in good condition, and provided that Alejandro [Valverde] and the rest will be strong again, this can only be good. I was really close to winning the stage, but my goal today was the overall, and we got it.”
Aleksejs Saramotins (IAM Cycling) won the fifth stage, a 12.4km individual time trial in Aranda de Duero. But Quintana took the runner-up spot at one second slower to claim the overall title. Teammate Imanol Erviti finished third on the day at two seconds.
The first time checks put the Movistar leader behind overnight race leader Daniel Moreno (Katusha). The two were then even through an early time check — 8:04 over the first 6km. Quintana’s better energy management would eventually give him an extra gear to tackle the urban run-in to the finish, recapturing the GC title.
Moreno, who began the stage tied on time with Quintana, crossed fifth on the day at four seconds to slip to second overall, three seconds behind the newly minted champion. Janez Brajkovic (Astana) took third overall at 55 seconds.
“I knew Dani Moreno was going to be hard to beat — he might as well be a rival in the Vuelta,” Quintana said. “I wasn’t expecting to do such a good time, either. I started off calm, confident, and I took this TT also as a test for the Vuelta. I’m leaving this region happy with how I did — good form building up before the upcoming three weeks. I really like the race. [It was] well organized, really beautiful — it’s a pleasure to win here again. I thank my wife for everything she did for me while I was getting ready for the race; this is for my daughter, Mariana, as well as my family and all Colombians, since I know they were paying attention on the TV. And of course, to my teammates, just sensational as usual.”
The Vuelta a Burgos was Quintana’s seventh victory of the 2014 season and his 22nd in his professional career.