Movistar manager Eusebio Unzue has tempered Nairo Quintana’s declaration that he will ride the 2017 Giro d’Italia by saying that the Colombian’s race schedule for the coming season has not yet been decided in full.
Quintana announced his intention to ride the Giro during an interview with Colombian newspaper El Tiempo earlier this week. “Everything is determined already. We will go to the Giro to make a showing, to try to do well there, but with the objective of coming out of that race in good shape to take on the Tour," Quintana said.
Speaking in Tuesday's edition of Gazzetta dello Sport, however, Unzue insisted that Quintana’s plans for the 2017 campaign have not yet been established and said that the only certainty was that he would return for another tilt at the Tour de France in July.
“I don’t know why this news has come out,” Unzue told Gazzetta dello Sport. “We haven’t completely defined the programmes yet. There is a chance that Nairo will ride the Giro and the Tour, or else the Tour and the Vuelta. For now I don’t think it’s even right to say how much of a chance there is that he’ll do one programme or the other.”
Quintana has raced the Giro on one previous occasion, when he claimed final overall victory in 2014. The Colombian has never attempted the Giro and the Tour in the same season, and no rider has managed to win the two races in the same year since Marco Pantani in 1998.
Last season, Quintana responded to the disappointment of his third place finish at the Tour by winning the Vuelta a España in September, ahead of Chris Froome (Sky) and Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange).
The 2017 Giro marks the 100th edition of the corsa rosa, and the line-up is set to feature reigning champion Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Fabio Aru (Astana), Tejay van Garderen (BMC) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ).