The Colombian attacked 4 kilometers out from the summit finish to claim his second Provence title in three years, too strong for Julian Alaphillipe (QuickStep-Alpha Vinyl) who bridged across to the initial move but didn’t have enough in the legs to remain in the hunt for victory, finishing second overall.
Mattias Skjelmose (Trek-Segafredo) won the sprint for second place on the stage to finish third overall on the podium as previous race leader Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers) struggled on the stage and plummeted out of podium contention before being disqualified after the stage for an illegal bike change.
“It’s an important victory for me and for the team,” Quintana said after the stage.
“I wanted to repay their dedication and faith in me. And the win is for a friend of mine who left us, he’s now in the sky. I want to send a hug to his family.”
A five-man breakaway formed the early action of the 166.6 kilometer stage from Monasque, with Luke Rowe (INEOS Grenadiers), Romain Combaud (Team DSM), Alexis Gougeard (B&B Hotels p/b KTM), Nicolas Debeaumarche (St Michel-Auber 93) and Jonathan Couanon (Nice Metropole) building up a lead of as much as six minutes before the peloton began to reel them in as the race reached the start of the finishing climb.
Combaud attacked as the climb began, with Debeaumarche joining him as the peloton calmly pedaled behind. With 7km to go Debeaumarche fell away and Combaud found himself out in front solo with a 25 second lead, but that was short lived as he was swiftly caught with 5 kilometers to the line.
Arkea-Samsic took the front of the group, bringing Quintana to the fore as he launched inside the last 4.3 kilometers, immediately joined by only Alaphillipe as the pair went up the road.
When Quintana attacked again a kilometer later it proved to be the winning move, as Alaphillipe exploded and couldn’t stay with the Colombian as he carved out a lead of 30 seconds on the chasers and crossed the line unchallenged.
Watch the full replay of the stage below: