Quintana looking increasingly likely to target Giro d’Italia rather than Tour
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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Quintana looking increasingly likely to target Giro d’Italia rather than Tour

by VeloNation Press at 10:41 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Giro d'Italia
 
Valverde set to lead Movistar team in French race, final decision to be made next month

Nairo QuintanaAlthough he finished a superb second in his debut this year, Nairo Quintana has given a further indication that he may well concentrate on the Giro d’Italia instead next season, trying to win the Italian race, rather than focusing on the Tour.

The Colombian won the final mountain stage, the young rider classification and the King of the Mountains competition at this year’s Tour de France, finishing as runner-up to Chris Froome. The performance in his first Tour reminded of other debuts in the past by riders such as Bernard Hinault and Laurent Fignon, who won their first Tours, 1996 runner-up Jan Ullrich, plus Greg LeMond, who was third in 1984.

Given that he’s 23 years of age and can reasonably be expected to continue improving each season, winning next year’s Tour is a possibility. However he seems to be leaning towards the Giro instead for 2014, as does his Movistar squad.

“The Giro has always attracted me and I’ve always preferred that to the Tour because there are more mountains,” he said, according to Biciciclismo. “I think it is a race that suits me. “I really like the course because at first glance it adapts well to my characteristics as a pure climber. In the first week you have to be careful not to fall into any traps. In the third week, although I don’t know the Italian mountains, they seem hard to me.”

He added that the only stage he was worried about was the 46.6 kilometre time trial on stage twelve, due to its distance.

However with multiple uphill finishes, Quintana has the chance to overcome any deficit which builds up against the clock.

The Colombia could recover in time to perform well at the Tour de France, although recent years have shown that it is difficult to be in top shape for both events. Rather than bank on needing to fully get over the Italian exertions, the team is likely to allow Alejandro Valverde to be the nominated leader.

He won the Vuelta a España in 2009 and has also finished second, second, third, third, fourth and fifth in the race. His best Tour de France placing is sixth in 2007. He was eighth this year, but dropped from second overall and lost over eight minutes when he was isolated after puncturing on stage thirteen to Saint-Amand-Montrond.

Valverde knows that time is running out for him to finish on the podium at the Tour de France and with his younger team-mate apparently willing to concentrate on the Giro d’Italia next season, he’ll focus his own season around trying to peak for July.

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