Nairo Quintana targets Tour de France

Nairo Quintana has set his sights firmly on the Tour de France after coming out on top of a star-studded field at the Volta a Catalunya.

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Nairo Quintana has set his sights firmly on the Tour de France after coming out on top of a star-studded field at the Volta a Catalunya.

Movistar's Quintana overcame the likes of Chris Froome and Alberto Contador, as well as Vuelta a Espana champion Fabio Aru and Richie Porte, last year's Volta winner.

Having moved to the top of the general classification after stage four, two-time white-jersey winner Quintana doggedly kept his nose in front, although the race was not without drama - especially on the final stage.

"I'm very, very happy. I have started the year well," the 2014 Giro d'Italia champion told Movistar's official website. "This is really an incredible win, one of the hardest fought I've had in my career. 

"Thanks to the team for their phenomenal work. We suffered for this and today we have been rewarded.

"Three of our riders were ill, with Jose Herrada and Marc Soler down with flu, so we had to defend my race lead with five [riders]. It was as hard-fought a stage as I have ever ridden. I have won the Volta by just seven seconds, which isn't a big margin and shows that my rivals were strong."

On his prospects for the year ahead, the Colombian added: "There are still many races to go, and we start them from zero, but having beaten all the big names who were here gives me confidence that I am doing things well with the focus on my dream of winning the yellow jersey. 

"Winning here in Catalunya also means that I am still growing, still maturing, and progressing towards the big goal that we have set this season. I will keep accumulating race days and hopefully reach the start of the Tour de France in good shape."


FINAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Nairo Quintana (Colombia / Movistar) 30:50:19" 
2. Alberto Contador (Spain / Tinkoff) +7" 
3. Daniel Martin (Ireland / Etixx - Quick-Step) +17" 
4. Richie Porte (Australia / BMC Racing) 
5. Tejay van Garderen (U.S. / BMC Racing) +27" 
6. Romain Bardet (France / AG2R) +31" 
7. Ilnur Zakarin (Russia / Katusha) +42" 
8. Chris Froome (Britain / Team Sky) +46" 
9. Hugh Carthy (Britain / Caja Rural) +1:01" 
10. Rigoberto Uran (Colombia / Cannondale) +1:16"

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