Nairo Quintana's attempt at the Giro d'Italia-Tour de France double this season led him to skip the Route du Sud for the first time since 2014. Instead, the Colombian Movistar rider took a short break after his runner-up performance at the Giro and then headed straight for France, where he reconnoitred several of the climbs he'll face in July.
Having missed the mark at the Giro when he finished 31 seconds behind Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), Quintana will be looking for redemption in France, where he has finished on the podium in all three previous attempts. Quintana finished third in the Tour last year behind three-time winner Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Romain Bardet (AG2R).
The 2017 Tour de France presents an innovative route that will include some short-but-intense mountain stages and visit all five mountain regions of France - the first time in 25 years - with a transfer from the east on the first rest day meaning the Vosges and Jura will be followed by the Pyrenees, the Massif Central and the Alps.
Quintana's recent recon focused on the Alps, where stage 17 will finish in Serre Chevalier in the Hautes Alpes and include both the Telegraph and the Galibier. It is followed by the final mountain stage of the race to the summit of the legendary Col d'Izoard in the heart of the Alps. The stage will also include the Guillestre, Barcelonnette and the Col de Vars climbs before the finish at 2,360 metres after passing through the moonlike landscapes of the Casse Déserte area.