Nairo Quintana and his Movistar team are still to decide whether or not the Colombian will ride the Vuelta a España next month. At the end of last season Quintana indicated his intentions to ride the Vuelta, along with teammate Alejandro Valverde, but following a tough Tour de France his participation is not certain.
“We are deciding if it if possible to do the Vuelta or not and a little later we will take the decision. For now, I will rest and disconnect and wait for Eusebio (Unzué) to decide,” Quintana said, according to Biciciclismo. “I am not taking a break as such, due to team commitments, for many things and I’m with my family.”
Should he race the Vuelta, he will face the likes of Fabio Aru, Tejay van Garderen, Joaquin Rodríguez and Valverde in the battle for the overall classification. Chris Froome is also considering riding the Spanish Grand Tour. Quintana looked on course to win last year’s Vuelta a España but suffered a crashes during the mountain time trial and the following stage, which forced him to withdraw. It is not clear whether Quintana will race elsewhere or if he will call an end to his season if he and the team decide not to enter him in the Vuelta a España.
Alberto Contador was due to end his season at San Sebastian this weekend but a fever forced him to pull out early. Contador had a busy start to the season though, as he attempted to do the Giro-Tour double. Quintana, in contrast, spent much of the early season training in Colombia and has currently only completed 55 race days – although that is slightly more than the 48 that Tour de France winner Froome has done thus far.
Quintana finished second to Froome at the Tour de France, 1:12 behind the Team Sky rider, backing up his performance in his debut in 2013. “The truth is that it was spectacular and great to return to the Tour de France after two years and repeat the second place. It is the confirmation that we are well, we continue on track and that the maturation continues,” he said.
“And the additional podiums of best young rider, the team classification and second in the mountains confirm what I did in 2013. “
Quintana almost looked like he might topple Froome on the final day in the mountains, but he was unable to take back the time that he’d lost in the opening two weeks. “I thought that perhaps I could achieve it but unfortunately I couldn’t and it will be on another occasion,” said Quintana.
“I finished a few seconds off Froome but I fought for the general classification and this gives me a lot of encouragement.”