Nairo Quintana is surprised by the amount of time he lost on Tuesday in the time trial of the Vuelta a España. The 29-year-old Colombian gave in more than three minutes to stage winner Primoz Roglic and fell from first to fourth in the rankings.
"It was not a good day," said Quintana on the site of his Movistar team. "I had hoped to sit behind Roglic for two minutes. A gap of three minutes is more than I expected and too big."
In addition to Roglic, Quintana was also passed by teammate Alejandro Valverde and Astana rider Miguel Ángel López in the rankings.
Despite the considerable loss of time, the former Vuelta winner has not yet given up hope for a good final classification.
"The fact that I did a less good time trial does not mean that I am not feeling strong. There are opportunities in the next stages to take time on Roglic. We have proven in the past that we can turn setbacks into success."
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"Movistar plans remain unchanged"
Unlike Quintana, Valverde was able to live well with his time trial. The 39-year-old cycling veteran gave in to Roglic for more than a minute and climbed to second place in the general classification.
"We came out well," Valderde looked back. "Losing a minute and a half is what we had calculated in advance."
Movistar had traveled to the Vuelta without a clear leader. The fact that Valverde is now second in the general classification and more than a minute ahead of Quintana does not mean that he will be the first leader from now on.
"A minute before or after Quintana does not change our plans. We are both here to perform at our best level and have a common goal: to win a big round for Movistar. It doesn't matter who does that, as long as it does someone from our team. "
The Vuelta continues on Wednesday with a hilly stage of some 180 kilometers, starting in Saint-Palais and finishing in Urdax. The Spanish stage race ends next Sunday in Madrid.
See also: Proud Roglic after double hit in Vuelta: "Hole couldn't be big enough for me"