Nairo Quintana has outlined his goals for the 2016 season with success at the Tour de France and Rio Olympic Games road race his two priorities. The Movistar rider explained he will then look for a good result at the Vuelta a Espana. Quintana made the comments at the Visa headquarters in Bogota, adding that Alejandro Valverde is likely to make his Giro d'Italia debut next season before riding as a super domestique at the Tour for the 25-year-old.
"I promise to go for gold in Rio 2016," Quintana explained.
The 2016 Tour de France finishes in Paris on July 24 with the Olympic Road Race taking place just two weeks later on August 6 which provides adequate time for recovery explained Quintana.
"I do not think it's complicated, but it serves us well as we get out of the Tour with a great workload and rhythm. Extra preparation is not needed," he said of his twin ambitions. "The preparation is intended to go for the win in the Tour which is the number one target, and the commitment with Colombia in Rio. It is not a pressure, rather a commitment. We will be at a high level after the Tour. We are preparing now and then we will go for the gold.
"It will be very hilly and very favourable for us," Quintana said of the Rio course which finishes alongside Copacabana Beach. "And we have a great team that can win a medal. I have tried to make similar races on such course, such as Lombardy which I have done twice and I've been up there so I think we can get a podium in Rio."
While Quintana spent the early part of the 2015 season racing the cobbled classics in preparation for the Tour's cobbled stage 8, the Colombian explained he is likely to have less race days in his legs before next year's Tour with an emphasis on reconnaissance of the mountain stages in order to be fresh for the Vuelta after the Olympics.
"The first quarter of the calendar will be much smoother and I will have the intention of doing recon of the different stages of the Tour. So I will get to the Tour and the Olympics with fewer racing days. Then I will have something left for a good Vuelta."
Quintana, the 2014 Giro d'Italia winner, has finished second overall in the two times he has attempted the Tour de France, winning the best young riders classification on both occasions. This season Quintana attempted the Tour-Vuelta double, finishing fourth at the Spanish grand tour as illness hampered his attempts at victory. Explaining that the double is doable, Quintana is focused on becoming the first Colombian winner of the Tour next July.
"Doing two in one year is not difficult," he said. "You have to know how to plan. This year I was second in the Tour de France after some misfortune. In the second stage we lost the Tour. After the virus, I finished fourth in the Vuelta, knowing I was not in my normal condition. It is not unreasonable to think that possibly in the next few years you can win both but for now we focus on winning the Tour."
Movistar finished the Tour as the best overall team having also placed Valverde on the podium for the first time in his career as a co-leader. Quintana added that the overall winner of the WorldTour is likely to ride the Giro before turning his attention to helping his younger teammate win the Tour rather than attempt another podium position.
"The idea is that Alejandro will possibly do the Giro and then go to the Tour to accompany me. We have handled different situations and hopefully we will find the right formula to win the Tour," he said.
"We have a two-week training camp in Spain to plan the races. Carlos has been signed to help Valverde in the classics and, according to his performance and how he is integrated into the team, he will earn a spot for the Tour de France," he said.