Quintana focussing on the Vuelta a España

Two days after arriving in Trieste, the dust has finally settled on Nairo Quintana’s (Movistar) Giro d’Italia victory. As Quintana returns home for some well-deserved rest, the Colombian confirmed that he was not tempted to return for the Tour de France, in July.

Quintana finished second in last year’s Tour de France and immediately announced his intentions to go for gold – or yellow – this time around. However, his busy schedule has taken its toll.

“Not this year. It has been very demanding since January when I won San Luis, after that I was very consistent, second at Tirreno-Adriatico, fifth at Catalunya and the Giro. Now I need a little bit of rest,” Quintana told Biciciclismo.

Quintana’s next big target will be the Vuelta a España, where we will see him face-off against Joaquim Rodríguez. It is likely to be a two-pronged attack from his Movistar team with 2009 winner Alejandro Valverde pencilled in on the team’s roster.

Despite missing the Tour this year, Quintana is hopeful that he can take victory in 2015. “It is a dream to win the Tour de France. We have a strong team and I hope that we can continue like this, getting better and stronger, to be able to fight for the Tour next year.”

Colombian success

Aside from Quintana’s demonstration of power in the final week, one of the big things to come out of this year’s Giro d’Italia was the rise of the Colombians. The result was a huge surge in Colombian fans lining the roads in the final week.

“It was crazy to see so many Colombian flags, you can even say that it overshadowed the other countries. It all gave me strength,” said Quintana.

The performance has been a long time coming, but the Giro proved to be the race where the potential was finally realised. Quintana hopes that this is just the first in a long line of Colombian successes. “It’s true that it was a Giro where many Colombians have shone, first, second, the mountains classification, stages. It was crazy,” he said.

“For now, we have to take what we have. We know that we are doing good things at the moment and we have a good future. Surely more young guys will come and show all their strength.”

It is unclear when Quintana will return to racing, but the break will give the 24-year-old a chance to spend some time with his family. Quintana became a father earlier this year and the heavy training involved in preparing for the Giro has taken him away from his family.

He was, however, able to share his success with his family in Trieste. “To be able to have my daughter on the podium was something that I wanted and to have my family next to me in this moment also made me happy.”

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