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by Matt de Neef
February 6, 2017
In today’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Marcel Kittel wins the Dubai Tour with three stage victories; Damien Howson wins the Jayco Herald Sun Tour; Nairo Quintana victorious at the Tour of Valencia; Lilian Caelmejane wins Etoile de Besseges after stage 3 victory; Kerrison – Geraint Thomas can win the Giro d’Italia; Broken bike frame for Tom Dumoulin; Bradley Wiggins injured just hours before The Jump; Orica-Scott Backstage Pass – Stage 3 of the Sun Tour; GCN vs John Degenkolb.
Nairo Quintana (Movistar) has set himself the daunting task of winning both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France this year and over the weekend the Colombian got his season off to the perfect start.
Quintana took overall honours at the Tour of Valencia (Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana) after winning on the uphill finish to stage 4. That result put Quintana into the overall lead with just Sunday’s final stage remaining.
Strong winds forced organisers to shorten that stage to just 50km — five laps of a local circuit around Valencia. Iljo Keisse (QuickStep Floors) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) got off the front in the early stages of the hour-long race but they were hauled back in ahead of a bunch sprint. Frenchman Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) took out the stage ahead of Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and Coen Vermeltfoort (Roompot). Quintana finished safely in the bunch to win his first stage race of the year.
“I’m very happy about this victory,” said Quintana. “We knew it wouldn’t be easy today, and indeed it turned out to be very nervous due to the strong winds we had to face. Fortunately, both the team and I kept attention at all times and in the end it was no problem for us to conserve this jersey.”