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Darwin Atapuma finished in the top five for the second time in three days. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)
Darwin Atapuma finished in the top five for the second time in three days. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

Tour de San Luis, Stage 4: Two In The Top 10

23. January 2014

BMC Racing Team's Darwin Atapuma finished third on Thursday's summit finish at the Tour de San Luis to climb from sixth to fourth overall, while teammate Peter Stetina finished seventh on the day and stands ninth with three stages of the Argentinian race to go.

Suffering In The Heat
Atapuma registered his second top 10 result for the BMC Racing Team, crossing the finish line 92 seconds after solo stage winner Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) and 42 seconds after runner-up Sergio Godoy (San Luis Somos Todos). "When the climb began, there were a lot of attacks from the San Luis Somos Todos riders, but when we reached 10 kilometers to go Quintana did a very strong attack," Atapuma said. "I wasn’t able to follow him immediately because I was suffering in the heat. But after some kilometers, I recovered a little bit and was able to not lose a lot of time for the overall."

Time Trial Next
Atapuma is 1:36 behind race leader Phillip Gaimon (Garmin-Sharp), who finished 18th but still holds a four-second advantage over Quintana. Marc de Maar (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team), who was with Gaimon in a Stage 1 breakaway, is third. After his runner-up finish on Stage 3, Stetina conceded 2:31 and slid from fourth to ninth, 2:32 off the lead. Friday's stage is a 19.2-kilometer individual time trial, followed by the last of three summit finishes in the 184.4-km queen stage of the week-long race. Sunday's final stage is 148.1 km on an undulating course.

Solid Team Effort
On the penultimate climb of the 168.7-kilometer race, the peloton split into three groups as it began reeling in a five-man breakaway group that had enjoyed a five-minute advantage. As the final ascent began, BMC Racing Team Sport Director Jackson Stewart said a strong effort at the front by Manuel Quinziato capped a solid team effort. "We are really happy with how everyone rode – Larry Warbasse and Taylor Phinney and even Dominik Nerz,"  Stewart said. "But especially Quinziato there at the end. He really tore it up and blew the field apart. That's what we needed to get as much time as possible."

Listen to complete comments from Atapuma (in Spanish) and Stewart on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.

Click here to view photos from the race.