Nairo Quintana (Movistar) has spoken of his desire to make his Giro d’Italia debut in 2014, saying that he has always preferred the Italian race to the Tour de France. The Colombian finished second at the Tour this season, but told reporters at the Giro presentation in Milan on Monday that his race programme could be different next season.
“I would have liked to have been at the Giro already this year, but [Movistar manager Eusebio] Unzue preferred to send me to the Tour,” Quintana said, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. “The Giro has always attracted me and I’ve always preferred it to the Tour because there are more mountains, which makes the race more suited to me.”
In spite of his desire to line up in Belfast next May, Quintana’s strong Tour de France performance means that he will be expected to return to the race in 2014 and challenge Chris Froome (Sky) for the maillot jaune. He stressed that he would wait for the unveiling of the Tour route on October 23 before making a decision on his programme for next season.
“I hope that my desire can become reality, although before making a definitive decision, we’ll have to wait and see the courses of the Tour and the Vuelta,” Quintana said.
Although the 2014 Giro route is stripped of some of the excesses of years gone by, particularly in terms of transfers, it remains resolutely a climbers’ race, and Quintana was enthusiastic about the course. With five summit finishes in the high mountains – at Oropa, Montecampione, Val Martello, Rifugio Panarotta and the Zoncolan – there is ample opportunity for a climber such as Quintana to showcase his talents.
“I like this route a lot because from first glance you can see that it’s well suited to my characteristics as a pure climber. In the first week, you have to be careful not to get caught out by any traps, perhaps because of the wind,” he said. “The third week, even if I don’t know any Italian mountains, seems really hard to me. The only real stage that isn’t good for me is the [Barolo] time trial, because it’s very long [46km].”.