Tour de San Luis: Stage 4
San Luis, Argentina (Jan. 23, 2014) – UnitedHealthcare ProCycling Team’s Marc de Maar held onto 3rd place and Lucas Euser climbed into 7th place in the overall classification after a grueling “queen” Stage 4 at the UCI 2.1 Tour de San Luis held on the outskirts of San Luis, Argentina. Solid teamwork shared between the six-man roster during the mountainous stage helped increase the team’s lead in the overall team classification.
“We created a new formula for our team during this stage: UHC-F6 [UHC-Fantastic 6],” said sports director Roberto Damiani. “The riders have always thought about the goals of the team before their personal goals. Thank you guys — it’s a pleasure to work with you.”
The fourth stage of the seven-day international event featured a 168.7km race that kicked off in El Potrero de los Funes and concluded with back-to-back ascents; a 12km climb to the top of El Embalse followed by a 10.5km climb to the finish line atop Alto del Amago.
The boys in blue went into the day’s race with a goal of defending de Maar’s position in the overall classification. The team’s opportunist Jonathan Clarke made it into the early breakaway and gained a maximum of six minutes, only to be caught by the main field at the base of Alto del Amago.
“Thanks to Jonny for his professionalism and incredible action in support of the team,” Damiani said. “Carlos Alzate and Luke Keough also worked very well for our three climbers.”
The final ascent was a climber’s dream, particularly for UnitedHealthcare ProCycling Team’s overall contenders de Maar, Euser and Colombian climber Isaac Bolivar. The trio entered the ascent with a select group of the peloton’s best climbers. Euser ultimately finished the stage in 5th, de Maar in 13th and Bolivar in 15th place.
De Maar is now sitting in 3rd place in the overall classification and has moved closer to the top spot, 1:15 behind race leader Phil Gaimon (Garmin-Sharp) and 1:11 behind runner-up and Stage 4 winner Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team).
The second mountaintop finish of the week, after Stage 2, gave the boys in blue a chance to work toward solidifying their position in the overall team classification, increasing their lead to over a minute.