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Quintana hopes for 'team that can support him 100 per cent' in move to Arkea-Samsic

Colombian will be forced into joint leadership role at Vuelta a Espana

Joe Robinson
12 Aug 2019

Nairo Quintana is hoping his move to ProContinental team Arkea-Samsic will give him '100 per cent support' when targetting the yellow jersey at the Tour de France next season.

The 29-year-old struggled to shine at this year's race finishing eighth overall following the decision of his current team, Movistar, to back three team leaders on General Classification.

While Quintana did win a stage, he rode into Paris over five minutes adrift of eventual winner Egan Bernal of Team Ineos and a minute down on teammate Mikel Landa, who finished sixth.

The Colombian will now depart the Spanish team, yet told home radio station BLU Station that the yellow jersey remained his ultimate goal and that his move away from Movistar should further his chances of winning the only Grand Tour missing from his palmares.

'That’s the idea – to be able to find a team where I feel at home, where I’m happy, and where they can support me 100 per cent, where I feel myself and where I can shine as bright or even brighter than ever,' said Quintana.

While Quintana has yet to confirm his new team, reports suggest that he has already signed a deal with the Breton-based second-tier team, with even his own father confirming the move.

It will see the previous Vuelta a Espana and Giro d'Italia winner drop out of the WorldTour to become the sole team leader for any Grand Tour invites the team receive in 2020.

The issue of leadership sharing at Movistar plagued Quintana's eight-year stint with the team and despite two Grand Tour overall victories, has often been attributed to his underperformance at the Tour.

Quintana, however, has given no criticism of the team that signed him when he was 21-years-old and guided him towards major victories in some of cycling's biggest races.

'It was a period that was very good for me. I arrived very young, they took me from a Colombian team and taught me a lot, and supported me,' said Quintana.

'That cycle is now over, by mutual agreement - although we still have the rest of the year to complete – and I will always have total gratitude to the sponsor.'

Quintana will end his Movistar career at the Vuelta a Espana later this month, in which he will be pegged as one of the favourites to take the overall win.

Having already won the Spanish Grand Tour in 2016, the relatively small amount of time trialling compared to mountain stages has been seen to suit the Colombian.

Quintana's farewell bid at Grand Tour glory, however, could see the same fate as the recent Tour with Movistar is planning to race with Giro d'Italia winner Richard Carapaz and World Champion Alejandro Valverde, something the Colombian is ultimately aware of.

'We have to wait and see what the orders from the team will be, because we’ll be there with Valverde, Carapaz and Marc Soler, and the team considers us all leaders. So it will be a case of what the team wants.'