Tue, Jun 21, 2016 - Page 18 News List

Pantano wins final stage, Lopez wraps up the title

AFP, LAUSANNE, Switzerland

Colombia’s Jarlinson Pantano of IAM Cyling, second right, wins the ninth stage of the Tour de Suisse from La Punt to Davos, Switzerland, on Sunday.

Photo: EPA

Colombia’s Miguel Angel Lopez wrapped up the Tour de Suisse title on Sunday, as his compatriot Jarlinson Pantano won a shortened ninth and final stage in Davos.

Astana rider Lopez, 22, moved into the overall lead after finishing second in Saturday’s time trial and he held on to the yellow jersey by finishing safely in fourth place on the final day.

Lopez edged out Jon Izagirre of Movistar by 12 seconds, with France’s Warren Barguil of Giant-Alpecin just six seconds further adrift.

Sunday’s route was cut to just 57km because of poor weather and IAM Cycling’s Pantano took advantage by outsprinting Russian Sergei Chernetckii of Katusha and Spain’s Izagirre to take the stage.

It meant a fast pace before the crucial difficulty of the day, the 13km climb up the Fluela Pass, before the final 17km descent to the finish.

Pantano was part of a three-man attack on the climb, before Lopez, who finished seventh in the race as a neo-pro a year ago, gave a display of his authority by bridging up to the leaders.

He then pushed on with only Pantano and Tejay van Garderen of BMC Racing Team able to follow, before a third acceleration allowed him to crest the summit alone with a 30-second lead.

Four chasers caught Lopez with 8.5km still to ride, while two more joined just before the sprint finish.

The big loser was Cannondale’s Andrew Talansky of the US, who started the day second overall at just 8 seconds back.

He was dropped on the climb and eventually finished 56 seconds back, falling to fifth overall.

Pantano climbed above Talansky, meaning two Colombians finished in the top four.

Last year’s winner Slovenian Simon Spilak of Katusha ended up ninth overall, while Briton Geraint Thomas of Team Sky, one of the prerace favorites, struggled on the final climb and dropped out of the top 10.

ROUTE DU SUD

AFP, TOULOUSE, France

Tour de France contender Nairo Quintana won the Route du Sud on Sunday for the second time following the 155km fifth and final stage.

French sprinter Arnaud Demare of FDJ won a sprint finish to claim the stage ahead of compatriots Yohann Gene of Direct Energie and Stephane Poulhies of Armee de Terre following eight laps of a circuit around the Clermont-Pouyguilles commune.

Movistar’s Quintana, 26, had already won this race in 2012 and was second to Spain’s Alberto Contador last year.

It is his only Tour de France build-up race after the Colombian opted to skip the traditional week-long stage races of the Criterium du Dauphine and the Tour de Suisse.

Quintana took control of the race by winning the hilly time trial on Friday last week.

He won by 36 seconds from Spanish Movistar teammate Marc Soler, who won Saturday’s fourth stage, with Frenchman Nicolas Edet of Cofidis third at 1 minute, 6 seconds.

Briton Hugh Carthy of Caja Rural-Seguros had started the day in third place overall, but crashed close to the end of the final stage and fell down to 22nd.

Quintana had started as overwhelming favorite for a race that rarely attracts the biggest names, although two-time Tour de France champion Contador won last year.

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