The Movistar climber has competed at the Tour de San Luis twice during his career, wining in 2014 and finishing third overall in 2015.
“The primary target is the Tour de France, I will try to be in good shape so that I can fight for the overall victory,” he says. “The Olympic Games and La Vuelta are secondary objectives, but they are also of importance,” Quintana said in a press statement.
The Tour de San Luis has become a viable and respected option for Grand Tour riders in recent years. Like the Tour Down Under, it offers warm-weather racing but, unlike its Antipodean counterpart, it provides sterner tests in the mountains in that little the region of San Luis. The racing in Argentina is low key, with less media focus, allowing for the riders to find their feet without the pressure of securing valuable WorldTour points.
“I have very good memories of the race,” Quintana added. “I have participated in the Tour de San Luis twice: the first time I won and the second one I was third overall. It is a beautiful race as it is held in the Argentinian summer. The weather is perfect to get ready for the season.”
Movistar will send a competitive team to the race with Quintana supported by his brother Dayer, Adriano Malori, Fran Ventoso, Carlos Betancur and Dani Moreno, the latter two having recently signed for the Spanish team.
“We will try to ride on the front of the peloton. We have a strong team and we will try to fight for the overall victory once again. As we always try to do.”
The seven-day stage race begins with a team time trial before heading into the mountains for the deciding stages.
“Movistar is doing a really good job in the team time trials and… the summit finishes fit me,” Quintana said, pointing to the summit finishes at Cerro El Amago and Filo Sierra-Comechingones.
The Tour de San Luis takes place from January 18-24. Following that, Quintana will remain in South America to compete in the Colombian national road race on February 7.