Quintana set for three-year deal at Arkea-Samsic

Nairo Quintana’s time at Movistar will end this year with a three-year deal at Arkéa-Samsic on the table for 2020. Cyclingnews has learned that negotiations between the Colombian and his current team ended in failure and that Arkéa-Samsic first sat down with the rider to begin talks on a deal after Paris-Nice. There, Arkéa management and Quintana met in Monaco and the team laid out their vision for Quintana’s future.

The deal has not yet been ratified, and transfers can only be made official after the UCI’s transfer window open on August 1. However Cyclingnews understands that the deal is near completion with elements surrounding Quintana’s eventual finishing place in this year’s Tour the only outstanding topic to be completed.

Quintana has been with Movistar since his WorldTour debut in 2012 but has grown increasingly frustrated at the team in recent years. He has not won a Grand Tour since 2016 and with Movistar’s insistence on having multiple leaders at the Tour de France, both parties consider a break as the best step forward.

The Colombian will not be the only rider to leave Movistar. In a move to build a Grand Tour programme around the former Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España winner, Arkéa will also sign Winner Anacona on a multi-year deal. The 30-year-old Colombian will be key mountain domestique for Quintana. Nairo Quintana’s younger brother Dayer, who previously raced at Movistar but has been Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia this year, will also move to Arkéa for 2020.

Another rider set to sign at the French squad is Diego Rosa. The Italian has spent the last four years at Team Ineos, but has not been selected to ride a Grand Tour since the 2017 Vuelta a España. His career has stagnated to the point where his last race was the early June Hammer Series in Limburg.

Arkéa are also set to move for talented 23-year-old Fernando Barceló from the Euskadi Basque Country-Murias team. Barceló won a stage to Val d’Isere in last year’s Tour de l’Avenir and has attracted attention from several WorldTour teams.

Quintana is not the only Grand Tour specialist leaving Movistar. Cyclingnews reported earlier in the year that Mikel Landa would move to Bahrain-Merida. That deal was agreed at the end of 2018, roughly at the same time as McLaren’s decision to step up and become a co-sponsor for 2020. Landa will be joined by Pello Bilbao from Astana, while Enric Mas and Jakob Fuglsang have both been linked to moves to Movistar. Giro d'Italia winner Richard Carapaz is set to leave Movistar and join Team Ineos. That deal was in motion before the rider's Grand Tour win in May.

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