Julian Arredondo (Trek Factory Racing) took his second win of the Tour de San Luis on Saturday atop the Mirador del Sol climb.
Arredondo hit the line a second ahead of Sergio Godoy (San Luis Somos Todos). Race leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar) followed five seconds later for third, consolidating his hold on the general classification with one stage remaining.
“I really wanted to win another stage, but when [Domenico] Pozzovivo attacked on the final climb I had to make a decision to go for the stage win or protect my overall lead,” said Quintana.
Quintana now leads Phil Gaimon (Garmin-Sharp) by 35 seconds with Godoy third at 1:57.
Paced by teammate Tom Danielson, Gaimon finished eighth on the day, 14 seconds down.
The 184.4km stage began at Las Chacras, rolled through the Valley of Conlara and ended with the 7km Mirador del Sol ascent, which rises 1,837 vertical feet with an average grade of 8.75 percent.
The breakaway of the day included Gregory Brenes (Jamis-Hagens Berman), Richard Mascarañas (Selección de Uruguay), Lawrence Warbasse (BMC Racing), Juan Arango (Team Colombia), Kenny Dehaes (Lotto-Belisol), Jens Keukeleire (Orica-GreenEdge) and Anthony Delaplace (Bretagne-Seche Environnement).
A crash 30km from the finish took down a number of riders, among them Astana’s Vincenzo Nibali, Mikel Landa and Fredrik Kessiakoff. All three remounted and finished, and they are expected to start Sunday’s finale, though Nibali was said to be complaining of some pain in his left side and tenderness around the ribs. Jamis riders Eloy Teruel and Daniel Jaramillo weren’t so fortunate — they had to abandon the race after going down in separate crashes.
The escapees were swept up 20km before the climb, and at its foot the Colombian climbers took charge.
Arredondo praised his teammates for their work on his behalf.
“I have a great squad. I dedicate this win to them for the great work they have done,” he said. “We came with the idea of winning the Tour de San Luis, but we couldn’t, though we have been able to win a few stages.”
Quintana likewise saluted his comrades and added a compliment for the race organizers.
“The Tour de San Luis is a great race,” he said. “I congratulate the organizers. It has been really important to start the season here. I think the race is only going to get better. ”
The seventh and final stage is a 148.1km leg from San Luis to Terrazas del Portezuelo.