Nairo Quintana gives the first pedal stroke of his tenth year in Europe

Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) starts his tenth season in European cycling this Thursday , which he arrived in 2012, when he was part of Movistar. He is the Colombian cyclist, next to Fernando Gaviria , with the highest number of victories in the statistics (47).

The boyacense will lead his squad in the Tour de la Provence, the French competition in which he won in 2020, in his first year in the category ProTeam, after leaving Eusebio Unzué’s rope, with which he won almost everything.

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It has been 10 years of falls, injuries, failures, but there have been more moments of joy than he has given to the country, to a Colombia that still considers him an idol. And it is difficult for someone to match that statistic that accompanies it; time will pass and those numbers will remain intact.

Nairo arrived in 2012 preceded by the Tour de l’Avenir title, achieved a year earlier, and responded to the conditions and demands of European cycling. His first victory was the stage of the Dauphiné Libéré on June 9 of that year.

And, from then on, the recently turned 32-year-old rider achieved 20 more victories in fractions of the World Tour races (WT), the highest category of pedaling in the world. Of them, three in the Giro and two in the Tour and the Vuelta.

His first title in the WT was the Vuelta del País Vasco in 2013. Afterwards he climbed to the top of the podium six more times, two of them in the big three: the Giro d’Italia in 2014 and the Vuelta a España in 2016.

He won the general classification of Tirreno Adriatico (2015 and 2017), Vuelta a Catalunya and Vuelta a Romandía (2016), being the country’s rider with the most titles in the category.

He has been to 16 majors: eight times in the Tour, twice in the Giro and has raced six laps of Spain. Only once did he have to retire, in 2014, due to a fall in the 2014 Vuelta.

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Quintana has not been able to return to be a member of the podium in a big since that Giro of 2017, and his conditions are not those of previous years.

The yield curve, as usual, has dropped, and it no longer has a good tank to keep up with the greats of the moment, like Tadej Pogacar or Primoz Roglic.

That does not take away the option of continuing to be a figure, a protagonist; For this reason, this year the goal has been set to win stages in the Tour de France and fight the mountains, and for that the countdown begins tomorrow with the Tour de Provence.

“I won here in 2020. I am motivated by the idea of ??returning to this competition and being able to play an important role. My physical condition is good and I hope to have good conditions for this event”, said Quintana.