Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country) 2013 edition has been won by Movistar Team’s young Colombian Nairo Quintana. Quintana finished in second the last Time Trial stage, just seventeen seconds behind the twice UCI Time Trial champion Tony Martin of Omega Pharma-Quick Step. Quintana also won Stage 4 of the Spanish event.
He said that after winning the general classification (from Movistar’s website):
“I’m super happy with this victory and this time trial, that went quite better than I expected. I was fighting for such a victory since Paris-Nice, felt really good all these days, and was able to confirm today that good feeling on the road. It was quite a good parcours for me: it had flat sections, where I don’t do bad at all, also some slopes and several turns – as it was also a short TT, it suited me well. We rode with calmness and confidence, distributing my strength equally over the course, and it went well. The roads were slippery and we had to take some risks into the descents; actually, I was close to crashing once, but at the final descent, I already knew I had a good gap and could take things easier.
“It’s my first victory in such a big race – it’s something wonderful, it makes me really happy. I don’t know yet how far I can reach: I’m relatively young and we’re yet to see how my body progresses. I thank and dedicate it to my team, my teammates both as assistants, technicians, and Eusebio Unzue, for caring, for taking forward in difficult times, and for always having confidence in me. This victory is for all of them and for the fans who support us in Colombia and around the world. Know that I and my compatriots are giving a good image to the world makes us proud.”
Who is Nairo Quintana?
His full name is Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas. He was born on 4 February 1990 in the Boyacá department of Colombia. He is small, a pure climber, 1.69 m (5 ft 7 in) and 61 kg (130 lb). He first drew attention in 2012, when he took a prestigious victory at the Critérium du Dauphiné. He sparked a counter-attack after a select group of riders including leader Bradley Wiggins reached the last escapee of the day. He held on to his solo lead in the descent leading to Morzine.
I first watched him during the Vuelta a España 2012, he was working for Alejandro Valverde, and I am impressed with his climbing ability. And today’s Time Trial stage in the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country) showed us he can also time-trial.
There is a lot of interesting information about him in the article. For example, Nairo has used some of his earnings in Europe to sponsor the team that first signed him. Because of that, the team is now called Boyacá-Nairo Quintana.
Nairo Quintana’s Palmares (as of April 2013)
- 1st Overall Tour de l’Avenir (1st Stages 6 & 7)
- 1st Mountains classification, Volta a Catalunya
- 1st Overall Vuelta a Murcia (1st Stage 1)
- 1st Overall Route du Sud (1st Stage 3)
- 1st Giro dell’Emilia
- 1st Stage 6 Critérium du Dauphiné
- 1st Stage 1 (TTT) Vuelta a España
- 1st Young rider classification, Vuelta a la Comunidad de Madrid
- 4th Overall Volta a Catalunya (1st Stage 3)
- 7th Overall Vuelta a Andalucía
- 1st Overall Tour of the Basque Country (1st Stage 4)
- Nairo Quintana on Wikipedia