In what can be considered a historic day for Colombian cycling, Nairo Quintana on Saturday won the 20th stage of the Tour de France, climbing to second place in the general classification and securing both the white jersey for best young rider and the polka-dot jersey for best climber.
Quintana won by successfully sprinting away from the leading group some 5.2 miles to the finish, leaving behind his direct competitors in the general classification.
Saturday’s historic performance of the Boyaca native forced ecstatic responses from both Colombian media and the country’s president, who said Quintana “filled us with pride” on Colombia’s Independence Day.
Qué alegría la que nos da Nairo Quintana en este 20 de julio. Triunfo en la etapa, campeón de jóvenes y de la montaña. Nos llena de orgullo.
Quintana had already been performing above expectations, reaching third place in the general classification on Friday with only Spain’s Alberto Contador and the UK’s Chris Froome ahead of him.
Contador was unable to stay anywhere near the Colombian rider who took over the former Tour de France winner’s place on the podium and is now five minutes and three second behind Froome.
With no more than one stage to go, Quintana is almost certain of bringing home two jerseys — a unique achievement in the history of Colombian cycling.