Richie Porte (BMC Racing) finished 22 seconds down on the Colombian after an intelligent ride on the long climb and so kept his race leader’s yellow jersey but only by 17 seconds as Quintana had gone close to taking the race lead.
Porte can be happy there are no more mountain finishes in this year’s Tour de Suisse. The riders face a rolling 123km stage around Bellinzona on Saturday that will see the sprinters return to the fore, while Porte will be hoping to gain time on Quintana during Sunday’s decisive 34km time trial.
Quintana has flown under the radar at the Tour de Suisse as he polished his form after a long spell of training at home in Colombia. However, he threw caution to the wind at the foot of the 27km climb to Arosa, clearly keen to test Porte and test his own form.
Porte and others managed to catch Quintana after a first attack but then the Colombian went again, with no one was able to hold his wheel. He powered up the steep first section and quickly caught and past the break of the day, including the American Joe Dombrowski (EF Education First-Drapac).
Porte got some vital help from Tejay van Garderen and then from Greg Van Avermaet – who had been in the break of the day, on the easier middle section of the climb. But Quintana refused to give in, surging away again from the remains of the break.
A mountain showdown
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