Nairo Quintana wins up Mont Ventoux for his new team Arkéa-Samsic
Nairo Quintana won on Mont Ventoux and took first win for his new Arkéa-Samsic team on stage 3 of the Tour de La Provence
The Colombian attacked with just over 7 kms to go, at the hairpin turn of Chalet Reynard, with around 500m of climbing up to 1,902m above sea level.
Race leader Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) and Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) chased but Quintana finished 1m 28s ahead.
Lutsenko eventually took second and Carthy third.
Quintana’s took over the race lead from Vlasov, who is now more than a minute behind the Colombian on GC.
Ineos’ Eddie Dunbar, Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma), Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb), Jésus Herrada (Cofidis), Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) completed the top 10 riders finishing.
Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) was dropped from this group showing lack of early season form.
Arkéa-Samsic and Cofidis led the peloton up the climb with 8.5km remaining, with Cavagna’s lead cut to a minute and a half before he was swept up a kilometre later.
The race then started to splinter as Arkéa upped the pace and set things up for their new rider Nairo Quintana, who attacked with 7km to go.
American Sepp Kuss tried to jump across to his wheel but struggled to keep up with the Colombian’s pace.
Quintana had soon opened up an advantage of 12 seconds over Alexey Lutsenko, Hugh Carthy and Kuss, who had picked up the chase out of the remnants of the GC group.
With 6km to go the gap had doubled as Quintana powered up the climb with a high cadence and Pinot and Romain Bardet fought to stay in contact with their group behind.
Kuss was then dropped by Carthy and Lutsenko, while race leader Aleksandr Vlasov countered the group behind to bridge up to the two remaining poursuivants.
With 3.5km to go, Quintana was sailing towards victory with a gap of a minute and a half. Kuss re-found some form as he drove the pace of the large chase group in third place on the road, 20 seconds behind Carthy, Lutsenko and Vlasov.
Quintana eased himself over the line to take an impressive first victory for his new employers, while Lutsenko attacked Carthy in the run-in to finish second, the Brit having to settle for third.
Eddie Dunbar had something left in the tank as he sprinted for the line and led the larger GC group home, more than two minutes down on Quintana.
VIDEO: Tour de La Provence - Nairo Quintana wins Stage 3 and takes the lead
2020 Tour de La Provence Stage 3
1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa-Samsic, in 3-36-26
2. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana, at 1-28
3. Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Pro Cycling
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana, both at same time
5. Eddie Dunbar (Irl) Ineos, at 2-11
6. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma, at 2-12
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb
8. Jesús Herrada (Esp) Cofidis
9. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, all at same time
10. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, at 2-25