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Nairo Quintana declared unrivalled Movistar leader for Tour de France

Colombian hoping to become first South American to win Tour de France this July

Joe Robinson
30 May 2019

Nairo Quintana insists he will be the sole leader for Movistar at the Tour de France despite the presence of Alejandro Valverde and Mikel Landa. The Colombian spoke at a recent press conference in Bogota and affirmed that the team had promised that he would enter the race as the team leader and that the team would be there to support his bid for the Malliot Jaune.

'Eusebio Unzué has told me that I will be the leader for the Tour, so I have been preparing for that and I hope to count on the support of my teammates,' said Quintana.

'I come to the Tour with more experience, knowing more about my body, the team and the route. I am focused on this goal and I trust in my preparation, I always give the best.

'For me, this Tour is simply a new opportunity that I will take full advantage of and I hope that things go well.'

Quintana will bid to become the first Colombian and the first South American to win the Tour de France this July.

He already has Colombia's joint best result at the race, twice finishing on the podium in 2013 and 2015. Quintana was also the first Colombian to win the Giro d'Italia in 2014, later adding the Vuelta a Espana to his palmares in 2017.

Last year, the 29-year-old finished a disappointing 10th at the Tour, seven minutes adrift of eventual winner Geraint Thomas despite winning Stage 17 on the Col de Portet.

He was also forced into sharing team leadership duty with Landa and Valverde, with the former eventually finishing ahead of him on GC.

Quintana also told the press that he hoped that current Giro d'Italia leader Richard Carapaz would be considered for the Tour in order to bolster the team's presence in the mountains.

'I’d like to have him [Carpaz] with me on the Tour as I would like to have Winner Anacona, but the directors choose the riders,' said Quintana before willing Carapaz on to winning the Giro for 'Latin America'.

This year, Quintana will be taking a fresh approach to Tour preparations by racing the Criterium du Dauphine for the first time since 2012. 

Starting next weekend, it will be his first race since the one-day GP Miguel Indurain in April in which he finished 42nd.

The 2019 Tour de France starts on Saturday 6th July in Brussels, Belgium to celebrate 50 years since Eddy Merckx won his first yellow jersey.