Tour de San Luis: Quintana asks drivers to give more respect to cyclists

Colombian praises younger brother for Tour de San Luis victory

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) has called for motorists to show more respect to cyclists after an incident in Spain left several Giant-Alpecin riders in the hospital. Chad Haga and Paris-Roubaix winner John Degenkolb remain in hospital after a woman driving on the wrong side of the road collided head-on with several of the team who were taking part in a training ride near Calpe.

Quintana is normally a man of few words but gave a lengthy response imploring drivers to take more care. “We from the Movistar family want to send our wishes to those that were hurt yesterday. Cases like those are really sad, last year there were a lot of deaths because of things like this. Last year, my brother was crashed into when he was riding in Spain,” said Quintana.

“Sometimes people don’t give us any respect and we ask journalists to help us to make people respect cyclists on the road. When I train in Colombia it is with the help of the police and I want to thank them because they help prevent a lot of accidents.”

Quintana’s teammate Adriano Malori also remains in hospital in San Luis after a high-speed crash on stage 5. Malori came down when his front wheel went into a crack in the road and hit his head hard in the incident. He was initially put under sedation but was gradually taken out of sedation on Saturday. He remains in the intensive care unit but has shown signs of recovery and his now responding to his name and able to eat food properly rather than through a tube.

“I want to dedicate this victory and everything else to Adriano Malori, we hope that he recovers and responds well,” Quintana said. “We hope to see him on the road again soon because he has been with me at the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France. It is with great sadness that we leave him here in the hospital and we hope to see him today in the hospital and that his health condition has improved.

Quintana was speaking after the final stage of the Tour de San Luis where he has finished third overall while his younger brother Dayer claimed victory in the general classification. Dayer took the lead in the race after finishing third on the previous day’s stage 6 to Filo Sierras de Comechingones.

“I’m very happy. I’ve been directing him since he was a kid and I brought him to where he is right now. So, to see him in a higher position them me makes me very proud,” said Quintana. “This victory has been like one of my own. Dayer has won and this was the intention of the team. If we can’t do it with one then we do it with the other. It is the first time that we have been together on the podium.

“Dayer has demonstrated what he can do. He has done very difficult races, classics which are very difficult for him, like Paris-Roubaix and he has got through, and today he has demonstrated what he can achieve and what he can do.” 

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