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Quintana given a hero's welcome in Colombia

By:
Cycling News
Published:
August 14, 2013, 10:38 BST,
Updated:
August 14, 2013, 11:53 BST
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Nairo Quintana waves to the crowd

Nairo Quintana waves to the crowd

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Movistar rider meets the president on return home

Nairo Quintana has been given a hero's welcome in Colombia after returning home for the first time since his success at the Tour de France.

The Movistar rider finished second behind Chris Froome and won the climber's polka-dot jersey and best young rider's white jersey, reviving the passion for the Tour de France in Colombia and confirming the arrival of a new generation of riders.

Quintana was greeted by thousands of people as he travelled in an open-top bus with his family from the airport to the Presidential palace. President Juan Manuel Santos awarded him the Cruz de Boyacá award for services to Colombia. Quintana gave a framed polka-dot jersey to the president.

Santos revealed that Colombia hopes to host the 2017 world road race championships and will build a new development centre to help young riders.

"I'm very happy to see all the people who have come to support me. I expected something like this but not as big," Quintana told the Colombian media.

"For me it is an honour to meet all these people who have shown their affection and enjoyed my success. We should look forward to more success by Colombians."

Quintana will travel home to Tunja on Wednesday and hold a press conference. He will stay in Colombia until mid-September before returning to Europe for the Tour of Britain and the UCI world road race championships in Tuscany.
 

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