• Niro Quintana did what he does best to take the Tirreno-Adriatico lead. (ANSA)Source: ANSA
Nairo Quintana pulled on the leader's blue jersey after a solo finish to win the fourth stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico on Saturday.
Cycling Central

12 Mar 2017 - 9:55 AM  UPDATED 12 Mar 2017 - 10:00 AM

The Movistar rider broke away from his rivals with two kilometres to go, crossing comfortably ahead of Team Sky's Geraint Thomas, at 18 seconds, and Orica-Scott’s Adam Yates at 24 seconds.

“I had flu some days ago, so I remained cautious in the way I raced today,” Quintana said. It went according to plan with all my team-mates escorting me to the bottom of the Terminillo.

“[Jonathan] Castroviejo managed to anticipate my action while Andrey [Amador] and Dani [Moreno] stayed with me until I attacked. The race isn’t over. I believe tomorrow’s stage is harder than today’s. I’d like to start the final time trial with the advantage I have now on GC.”

The win after 187km between Montalto di Castro and Monte Terminillo allowed Quintana to take the overall race lead from Australian Rohan Dennis (BMC).

"The advantage I have on GC (general classification) now is significant. It gives me some confidence ahead of the second half of the race."

The fifth stage covers 210km from Rieti, through the Apennine Mountains before seven steep climbs to the Torretta pass, towards the finish line at Fermo.