Nairo Quintana often talks about his sueño amarillo (yellow dream), which has its own hashtag on social media, but there's a chance he cold be dreaming of pink as well in 2017.
The Movistar team held a press conference at a camp in Navarra on Friday, with team boss Eusebio Unzué flanked by the Colombian and the Spanish team's other star rider, Alejandro Valverde.
Quintana stated that the Tour de France is the "principal objective" of his career, and he is almost certain to be on the start line in July, but further questions revealed that an appearance at the Giro d'Italia is being seriously considered. The route for the 100th edition of the corsa rosa was unveiled on Tuesday, with plenty of mountains to suit Quintana's climbing ability.
"If we don't give it a go we can't know how it might play out," he said, pointing out that there is more time between the Giro and the Tour than the Tour and Vuelta.
Quintana has doubled up on the Tour and Vuelta in the past two seasons, finishing 2nd and 4th respectively last year, and 3rd and 1st this year.
"I've done the Tour and then the Vuelta and it hasn't taken too much of a toll," he added.
Only nine riders have won the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in the same season, the last being Marco Pantani in 1998. With a month separating the two events, and plenty of riders preparing solely for the Tour, it's a big ask – as proved last year when Alberto Contador ticked off the Giro but came up short in France.
Unzué confirmed that Quintana going for the double next season was a possibility, and the Spanish manager is no stranger to the feat as Miguel Indurain twice did the double at the team, in 1992 and 1993.
"I think there's enough time to recover from the Giro," he said. "We've seen riders do it in the past.
"If we do decide to go to the Giro, we would have to modify his [Quintana's] schedule, from March to April, in which he achieved some great results this year like at the Volta a Catalyuna, Pais Vasco, and Romandie."
The routes for the following editions of the Giro and Tour are unveiled close together towards the end of the season, and are always followed by posturing from the leading Grand Tour riders, who often refuse to commit to one or the other, waiting to ascertain which of their rivals will be at each race. It can turn into a game of bluff and conter-bluff and, after Vincenzo Nibali called on three-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome to ride the 100th edition of the Giro next year, Unzué did the same.
"The ideal scenario would be that if Nairo rides the Giro then Froome does so as well. Personally, I'd like to see a Giro d'Italia with all the top riders together."
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