6.7.2018, CANYON CANYON RIDERS WHO WILL SHAPE THE TOUR DE FRANCE
Nairo Quintana: The Climber
The time is right for Nairo Quintana. Out of all 176 starters at the 2018 Tour de France, only two other riders join him in the exclusive ranks of having won more than one Grand Tour. What the Colombian has to his advantage over fellow club members, Vincenzo Nibali and Chris Froome, is youth. Still only 28, Quintana has his peak years as an endurance athlete ahead of him. Another ace up his sleeve is an insatiable hunger to finally add a Maillot Jaune to his collection, and in the process make history as Colombia’s first winner of the Tour de France.
Quintana has finished on the podium in Paris three times in his relatively young career, twice as runner-up. Those successes were built his characteristics as a natural climber at home in the high mountains, in addition to a Movistar Team with strength in depth to support him wherever needed.
For the 2018 race the Spanish team is bolstered by an in-form Alejandro Valverde, the arrival of Mikel Landa, as well as the emergence of young prospect and Paris-Nice winner, Marc Soler. Combine this with a route that includes the most explosive mountain stages in years, then fireworks are all but guaranteed.
Having foregone the Giro d’Italia this spring, Quintana arrives at the start line fresher than last year. His last outing at the Tour de Suisse shed light on the form he’s in; taking an emphatic solo victory on the queen stage before finishing third overall. Time will tell as to how this translates onto French roads in July, but so far, the signs are good. 2018 could well be Quintana’s year.