The Associated Press MONTE TERMINILLO, Italy (AP) — Nairo Quintana of Colombia repeated his dominant performance on Tirreno-Adriatico’s high mountains to win the fourth stage and move into the overall lead on Saturday.
Movistar rider Quintana waited until the final five kilometers to increase his pace and then pulled clear with two kilometers left to win on the Terminillo for the second straight year, finishing 18 seconds ahead of Geraint Thomas.
Adam Yates was third, 24 seconds behind Quintana at the end of the 187-kilometer ride from Montalto di Castro to Monte Terminillo — the toughest leg of the Tirreno-Adriatico.
Quintana took over the lead from Rohan Dennis and was 33 seconds ahead of Yates overall. Thibaut Pinot was third, 56 seconds behind Quintana.
“I wasn’t sure of what I could do today as I had been sick a few days ago but our tactic was to have someone ahead before I launched my attack and that’s what happened with [Jonathan] Castroviejo,” Quintana said. “The advantage I have on GC now is significant. It gives me some confidence ahead of the second half of the race.”
It is the first time the leader’s jersey has left the BMC team this week.
The fifth stage on Sunday is a 210-kilometer ride from Rieti to Fermo, which has steep climbs in the second half of the route.
The race finishes on Tuesday.
Porte takes Paris-Nice Stage 7
COL DE LA COUILLOLE, France (AP) — Two-time champion Richie Porte showed his climbing credentials are intact with a superb breakaway win on stage seven of the Paris-Nice, while Sergio Henao took the overall lead heading into Sunday’s final stage.
Porte’s chances of a third Paris-Nice success were ruined when he lost more than 15 minutes this week, but the Australian veteran rider showed what might have been with a brilliant attack on the final ascent up Col de la Couillole, the third and final of three tough climbs on a 177-kilometer (110-mile) route starting from Nice.
Porte, who used to be a SKY Team support rider for Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome when they won the Tour de France, completed the stage in a fraction over five hours on Saturday.
“It hurt so much but it’s such a sweet victory after what happened earlier in the week. Hats off to my team who never lost faith in me,” said Porte, who became BMC Racing’s lead rider last year. “I love this race; it means so much to me.”
He paid credit to promising French rider Julian Alaphilippe, the overnight leader, who cracked in the climbs and fell to fifth overall.
“He’s going to become a great champion,” Porte said.
With about three kilometers to go, Porte made his move and it was enough to distance two-time Tour winner Alberto Contador by 21 seconds. But the Spaniard stands a great chance of winning this race for the third time as he moved up to third in the standings: 31 seconds behind Henao.
Contador hoped for the stage win, but Porte dropped him with about one kilometer to go.
Dan Martin of Ireland finished the stage in third place and was one second ahead of Contador overall.
This sets up a thrilling finale on Sunday’s two big climbs.
“Every rider dreams of winning Paris-Nice and of wearing this yellow jersey,” said Henao, who finished the stage in fourth.