Former Tour de l’Avenir winner Nairo Quintana signs with Movistar
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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Former Tour de l’Avenir winner Nairo Quintana signs with Movistar

by Shane Stokes at 3:56 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Two year deal for Colombian neo-pro, promising climber gets his big chance

Team MovistarJust over a year after winning two stages plus the overall in the Tour de l’Avenir, the WorldTour Movistar team has confirmed that the talented Colombian rider Nairo Quintana is on his way to the squad.

The 21 year old rider is making the big jump across to Europe, having spent two years with the Colombia es Pasion – Café de Colombia setup, and will now have the chance to regularly compete against the best riders in the world.

He already underlined his strength with a King of the Mountains victory in this year’s Volta a Catalunya. This came two years after he finished seventh in the Subida a Urkiola at just 19 years of age.

Movistar general manager Eusebio Unzué completed negotiations recently and has awarded Quintana a two year deal; he will thus race as part of the team in 2012 and 2013. His move to the team continues a Colombian connection that was reduced when former Tour de France King of the Mountains Mauricio Soler had a bad crash in the Tour de Suisse and suffered head injuries. He is still recovering from that accident and it is uncertain if he will race again.

Quintana is one of five new signings confirmed thus far by the Spanish team. Already announced as coming on board are Italian champion Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini – Neri Sottoli), Jonathan Castroviejo (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and the Caja Rural pairing of Javi Moreno and Jesus Herrada.

The team is also expected to sign Alejandro Valverde, who raced with it when it was sponsored by Caisse d’Epargne. The former Vuelta a España winner is currently serving a lengthy ban related to Operacion Puerto, but will be eligible to return to competition at the start of next year.

He has indicated that there is a strong likelihood that he will resume with the team.

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