For the first time since 2013, Nairo Quintana will represent Colombia at the UCI Road World Championships. The multiple Grand Tour winner hasn't raced since placing 12th at the Tour de France following his second place Giro d'Italia result in May
Quintana's last Worlds appearance came at the 2013 Florence Worlds where the 27-year-old recorded a DNF. Bergen is just the third elite Worlds of his career along with Valkenburg in 2012, and Florence.
In Fernando Gaviria, Colombia has an outside favourite for the victory with the mountainous 2018 Worlds course better suited to Quintana's characteristics. Following a period of disagreement with the Colombian cycling federation, Quintana is back in the fold and believes in Colombia's ability to win a medal.
"I will always be proud to represent my country. It is very beautiful, there are people from all over the world who like the way I ride and how I cycle, it is quite nice to see so many children and so many people coming to support us," said Quintana of the support in Norway. "Sunday we will try, we have riders of all characteristics to fight to the last."
Alongside Quintana and Gaviria in the Colombian team for the 267.5km course are Sebastian Henao Gomez, Sergio Luis Henao Montoya, Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides ,Jarlinson Pantano Gomez, Jhonatan Restrepo Valencia and Nelson Andres Soto Martinez.
While confident of the team's chances in Bergen, Quintana also explained he is already looking ahead to 2018 in Austria.
"It is a very interesting worlds, we will surely try to arrive with the best team and in the best way to see how we plan the year and that this is achieved and carried out," said Quintana, who will finish his season at the Tre Valli Varesine, Milano-Torino and Il LombardiaItalian one-day races early next month.