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Quintana wins Tour of Romandie; Albasini gets stage win

Nairo Quintana

Nairo Quintana, of Colombia, celebrates on the podium after the seventh and final stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico cycling race across central Italy in San Benedetto del Tronto, Tuesday, March 17, 2015. Nairo Quintana won the Tirreno-Adriatico despite finishing well off the pace in the final stage, an individual time trial. Quintana, who was runner-up last year, finished 51st, 55 seconds behind stage winner Fabian Cancellara on the 10-kilometer (six-mile) course, but it was enough to take overall victory, 18 seconds ahead of Bauke Mollema. (AP Photo/Claudio Peri, Ansa)


GENEVA -- Nairo Quintana protected his overall lead to win the Tour of Romandie on Sunday after a final stage won by race specialist Michael Albasini.

Colombian Quintana rode safely in the pack to keep his 19-second lead over Thibaut Pinot of France. Jon Izagirre of Spain was third.

The Romandie race is a proven Tour de France trial and Quintana, a two-time runner-up, is targeting cycling’s biggest prize in July. His six-day Romandie victory followed the seven-day Tour of Catalonia title he won in March.

Albasini was strongest in a four-rider break that finished the flat 177-kilometer (110-mile) ride into Geneva barely ahead of the pack.

The 35-year-old Swiss edged Andrey Amador of Costa Rica and third-placed Wilco Kelderman of the Netherlands to get his sixth Romandie stage win since 2014.