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Nairo Quintana claims a teammate cost him 2015 Tour de France

Joe Robinson
29 Apr 2020

The Colombian believes the actions of one rider cost him victory over Chris Froome

Nairo Quintana has claimed that the actions of a Movistar teammate cost him the 2015 Tour de France. The Colombian rider recalled the 'sad' memory of Stage 20 to Alpe d'Huez speaking on the ESPN Bike Show, claiming that he would have beaten eventual winner Chris Froome had it not been for a teammate's actions.

Quintana finished the 2015 Tour in second place behind Froome with a deficit of 1 minute 12 seconds.

On the penultimate stage to Alpe d'Huez, Quintana attacked Froome - who later admitted he was struggling with illness - to claw back 1 minute 20 seconds on General Classification, although it was not enough to take the overall race.

While Quintana did not name the specific rider or the action that cost him the Maillot Jaune, he claims that one rider's actions that day were what prevented him securing Colombia's first Tour and the only Grand Tour Quintana has yet to win.

'On that Alpe d’Huez stage we had a strategy and there were teammates who worked very well and there were others who did not,' Quintana said on ESPN.

'There was a moment that day – and he knows it – where, practically because of this rider, it was impossible to win the Tour de France. I remember it as a sad day, because of the opportunity that passed me by.'

During this penultimate stage, Quintana's Movistar team made several attacks throughout the day to attempt to drop Froome.

Early in the stage, Alejandro Valverde made an attack on the Col de la Croix de Fer with Quintana bridging across. However, Froome was able to catch the pair on the descent.

Then, with the race hitting Alpe d'Huez, Valverde and Quintana exchanged attacks to drop Froome again. Eventually, with the help of fellow teammate Winner Anacona, Quintana was able to ride clear of the pack and finish second on the stage.

The move, however, was not enough and only earned the Colombian second on General Classification with Valverde holding on for the third podium spot.

Quintana has yet to better or equal that second-place finish in 2015 since, managing third in 2016 and then 12th, 10th and 8th in the three years following.

In his final season with the Spanish team, Quintana found himself sharing leadership at the French Grand Tour with teammates Valverde and Mikel Landa, which eventually unravelled into a public breakdown in communication and his eventual departure from the team.

Quintana has since moved to French team Arkea-Samsic yet his old Movistar team boss Eusebio Unzue has continued to praise his former rider.

Unzue recently claimed that Froome had continually benefited from racing with a stronger team than Quintana and if the pair were to face off one-on-one, the Colombian would have the better of the Team Ineos rider.

While flattered by the comments, Quintana admitted to ESPN that Froome probably was the 'stronger' rider overall but did concede his team had been able to save him from certain situations through the years.

'Yes, I read about the Froome thing. We know he’s had a strong team and that they’ve saved him in many moments. But also it’s true that he was stronger than me,' said Quintana.

'The good fortune he’s had in being on that team has taken him to where he is. As for myself, I fought as hard as I could and will keep fighting.'