Cimolai wins Tour of Catalonia stage 6, Quintana keeps lead

VILANOVA I LA GERTU, Spain (AP) Nairo Quintana protected his lead of the Tour of Catalonia through the sixth stage won by Italian rider Davide Cimolai on Saturday.

Cimolai sprinted ahead of the peloton to get the first win of the season for his Lampre-Merida team. He finished the winding and relatively flat 197-kilometer (123-mile) ride from Sant Joan Despi to Vilanova i la Gertu on the Mediterranean coast in around 4 1/2 hours.

Quintana and his Movistar team stayed near the front of the peloton alongside the other contenders. The Colombian will enter Sunday's final stage in Barcelona with a seven-second lead over nearest chaser Alberto Contador.

Defending champion Richie Porte remained in third at 17 seconds back, while Tour de France winner Chris Froome stayed in eighth at :46 off Quintana's pace.

''Sure I am worried about the attacks of my rivals, I have no doubt they will try it,'' Quintana said.

Cimolai powered ahead of the other sprinters to reach the finish line after the peloton had caught the last four escapees of a breakaway in the final kilometer.

''Finally, we got our first win after working hard all week,'' Cimolai said. ''It was very important after an unfortunate season.''

Sunday's stage is a 136-kilometer (85-mile) ride around Barcelona that finishes with eight laps up and down the Montjuic hill overlooking the city.

''A circuit like (Sunday's) is always difficult,'' said Quintana. ''But once you are at the front of the peloton, you have the option of letting yourself be carried along, and as long as you don't lose position you can manage it well.''