Quintana leads the Tour after Pogacar triumphs in the Andorran mountains

CORTALS D'ENCAMP: Colombian Nairo Quintana captured the red shirt in the Return a Spain on Sunday after arriving second in stage nine, taking a narrow overall advantage as Slovenian Tadej Pogacar He won the short and punishing explosion in the mountains of Andorra.

The UAE pilot, Emirates Pogacar, travels on his first Grand tour , remained firm with the Movistar trio of Quintana and Spaniards Alejandro Valverde and Marc Soler before launching an attack with three km to climb the final ascent under heavy rain.

The 20-year-old finished 23 seconds ahead of the 2016 Quintana champion at the Cortals d'Encamp summit after the 94.4km stage that began in Andorra la Vella .

Meanwhile, the compatriot of Pogacar, Primoz Roglic, made an impressive recovery to be third, 48 seconds later, after being left to fight alone while his teammates Jumbo-Visma fought a lot.

Roglic's efforts saw him rise to second place overall, six seconds behind Quintana.

Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez finished one minute one second back in ninth after a crash in the stage's gravel section but the collision did not prove too costly to his hopes of winning the Return as he is third overall, 17 seconds off Quintana.

Monday is the first of two days off, and the race resumes on Tuesday with a 36km individual time trial from Jurancon to Pau.

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