Nairo Quintana searched out his Movistar teammate and close friend Winner Anacona on Friday to congratulate him on his stage victory and to celebrate putting Deceuninck-QuickStep to the sword on the queen stage of the Vuelta a San Juan.
The two usually play inverted roles, with Quintana the team leader and Anacona the loyal domestique. However, at the 2,656m-high summit finish of Alto Colorado, Anacona was the big winner after he surprised Deceuninck-QuickStep and distanced race leader Julian Alaphilippe with an attack on the lower slopes of the climb and then had the strength and speed to stay away.
Quintana hugged Anacona and soon took to Twitter to praise him, writing: “When a compatriot wins, when a friend wins, when a teammate wins, it makes us happy. When Anacona wins and you know that he always leaves everything out on the road for you and your team, it’s even greater and well deserved.”
Quintana had even more praise for his teammate when he spoke with Cyclingnews after the stage.
“Winner a great guy and he’s riding strong at the moment. He was especially strong today,” Quintana told Cyclingnews after signing numerous autographs and posing for selfies with the crowd that swarmed around the Movistar van at the finish area.
“We worried about Alaphilippe marking me, and so we raced with Carapaz and Winner too,” Quintana said. “We thought we could do something and we did it. We won the stage, which was perhaps the lesser goal of the day because we were racing for the overall classification. We all raced well to split the group and set up Winner’s move. It was a good strategy, and everything worked out perfectly.”
Winner by name, domestique by nature
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