The Colombian megastar was once feeling nostalgic as he’s set to start the following decade with a brand new staff and new demanding situations to reassert himself.
Nairo Quintana bid a tearful good-bye to his Movistar staff over the weekend, with the Colombian megastar already eyeing a conceivable invitation to subsequent 12 months’s Vuelta a España.
That’s how a lot Quintana’s carrying existence goes to modify in the following couple of weeks.
The Colombian department of the Movistar-Telefónica places of work in Bogotá paid homage over the weekend to Quintana’s long term on the Spanish WorldTour staff. Along with his transfer to the French Skilled Continental outfit Arkea-Samsic for 2020, it was once Quintana’s remaining good-bye.
“We’ve had numerous gorgeous recollections in combination,” Quintana advised a packed space. “Now not just for the Movistar staff, however for Colombian biking.”
Quintana’s high-profile go out from Movistar for the French outfit could have implications for everybody. Now racing on the second-tier league, Quintana gained’t have computerized bids to race in any place he needs. As a substitute, the staff should rely on invites to get into one of the crucial main races. With its heavy French tilt, a place within the Excursion de France is all however confident. The opposite grand excursions should wait. After seeing a climb-heavy Vuelta direction unveiled remaining week in Spain, Quintana has already stated he’d love to race the Spanish grand excursion.
“I just like the path,” Quintana stated. “The preliminary plan is to be there, however that depends upon the group and its director, Javier Guillén.”
Guillén is already beneath power on easy methods to dole out his wild-card spots. With the WorldTour increasing to 19 in 2020, the grand excursions are feeling pinched. The Giro d’Italia, dealing with the similar drawback, discovered some respiring room when wild-card ensure Overall Direct Energie stated it could bypass on its computerized spot within the Italian grand excursion. That provides the Italians 3 wild-card spots handy out.
Thus far, Overall Direct Energie has indicated it’ll workout its proper to race the Vuelta, which is said after completing atop the Skilled Continental staff ratings in 2019. That leaves Guillén with best two spots to imagine. With 3 Spanish Skilled Continental groups clamoring for a place to race the Vuelta, it gained’t be simple for Quintana to earn a spot within the Spanish grand excursion. Even budding famous person Mathieu Van der Poel, who has no longer hidden his ambition to race the Vuelta subsequent 12 months along with his Corendon-Circus staff, may well be squeezed out.
Quintana’s transfer to Arkea-Samsic could have different implications as neatly. Regardless that Quintana will race within the Colombian nationwide championships in January, he’s going to no longer compete in the preferred Excursion Colombia 2.1 in February, as a substitute making his season debut in staff colours on French soil on the Excursion de l. a. Provence and Excursion du Haut-Var in February.
Quintana may even race in Paris-Great and the Volta a Catalunya in addition to around the Ardennes classics, the place he’s best raced two times in his profession, with a best possible 16th within the 2013 Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Quintana will most likely race the Critérium du Dauphiné in June earlier than a go back to the Excursion. The Tokyo Olympic Video games also are on his tentative calendar, although it’ll be a extremely aggressive box to earn one in all Colombia’s 5 beginning positions.
Quintana’s go out additionally leaves a hollow in Movistar. Since becoming a member of the staff in 2012, Quintana briefly emerged as a ensure in just about each and every raced he began. Regardless that he didn’t win the Excursion, Quintana gained the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España, and hit the Excursion podium thrice. Regardless that he wasn’t in podium-challenging shape up to now 3 editions of the Excursion, he nonetheless delivered level wins in 2018 and 2019.
Along side the departures of Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Merida) and Richard Carapaz (Ineos), Movistar can be reckoning on Alejandro Valverde in addition to rising skills Enric Mas and Marc Soler to fill the distance.
And as he turns 30 in February, Quintana felt the time was once proper for a metamorphosis. With Egan Bernal making historical past as the primary Colombian to win the Excursion de France, the ever-proud Quintana is aware of he must step up.
Over the weekend, Quintana was once feeling nostalgic and effusively thanked everybody inside the Movistar group for its fortify. Regardless that there have been studies of hysteria between Movistar and Quintana over the last few seasons, Quintana left with a heat glow.
“Over time I climbed many tough steps,” he stated. “For me it was once by no means simple. I’ve labored since I used to be a kid and I fought to thrive and live to tell the tale, and by chance I discovered a house at Movistar.”
A spotlight video reeled off Quintana’s many milestones and achievements all through his run within the Movistar “blue,” and although it’s set to finish along with his three-year contract to enroll in Arkea-Samsic, Quintana was once grateful.
“It strikes me to think about the whole lot that’s came about and it brings me to tears,” he stated. “For me it’s very exhausting to be right here nowadays, however it’s no longer a good-bye, however quite a ‘see you quickly.’”
With that, Quintana was once leaving the door open in all probability for a go back to Movistar someday. As of now, the Movistar bankruptcy of his carrying profession is over. It’s time for brand spanking new beginnings, each for Quintana and Movistar, every taking other paths into the following decade.