Quintana confirms he will stay at Movistar and target 2018 Tour de France

Colombian to miss the Vuelta a Espana but will ride World Championships

Nairo Quintana has played down reports of tension with Movistar by confirming he will target the Tour de France with the Spanish team in 2018.

Since falling short in his bid to win the Giro-Tour double - he placed second at the Giro and 12th at the Tour - there have been reports of a falling out between the Colombian climber and Movistar management. Quintana's father went as far as claiming the team were burning out his son, and the arrival of Mikel Landa for 2018 was also cited as causing tension.

Last week Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport claimed that Quintana was "on the market" after a falling out with Movistar and team manager Eusebio Unzue, with his agent Giuseppe Acquadro contacting several teams and requesting a total of €6 million for Quintana's contract and the fee to break his existing deal with Movistar.

That was denied by Acquadro but Movistar's reluctance to comment and Quintana's silence only fuelled suspicions of a falling out. Quintana finally took to Twitter to clarify his future, as well as to confirm that he will be part of the Colombian team for the World Championships in Bergen, Norway at the end of September. Quintana won the 2016 Vuelta a Espana but will not defend his title.

Quintana posted a photo of himself in Movistar colours and wrote: “My next event will be the @bergen2017 worlds. In 2018 I'll be with the @Movistar_Team by @LeTour.

On Tuesday, the Movistar team announced the arrival of Landa, with Unzue confirming that Quintana has a contract with Movistar until 2019.

Landa is expected to be team leader for the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana in 2018, while Quintana focuses on the Tour de France. 

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