During a press conference in Colombia, Nairo Quintana announced that he had no intention of retiring and that he intended to find a team, despite his positive tramadol test.
When Nairo Quintana announced that he was going to hold a press conference on Wednesday, the Colombian press immediately felt that this conference was going to be an opportunity for the soon-to-be 33-year-old runner, without a contract since leaving Arkéa-Samsic, to announce his retirement. During the night, he had posted a video in which he thanked all the people who had supported him in Colombia, which could indeed augur the end of his career. But not at all ! The winner of the Giro 2014 and the Vuelta 2016 did indeed hold a press conference on Wednesday, but it was to announce that he intended to continue his career and that he was actively looking for a high-level team. Nairobi Quintana, who lost his sixth place in the Tour de France due to a positive tramadol test and has only competed in the world championships since, began his press conference with a long statement, of which here are some excerpts.
Quintana: “I want to compete again, put on a bib”
“The life of a cyclist, whether leader or team member, member of a major World Tour team or a humble professional team, is synonymous with struggle. I am not the exception. (…) In my sporting career, I have been subjected to many trials of great physical and mental difficulty, being at all times aware of the obligation to be constant in my performances in front of the public who appreciate my victories and suffer with me in the most difficult challenges. Thanks to the support of my coaches and teammates and the encouragement given to me by Colombians, I was able to become the Colombian and Latin American cyclist with the most titles in history. It is the result of struggle, discipline and daily effort, as well as the motivation of an entire country. Today I want to tell you that I am in good shape to continue. I don’t give up and I keep moving forward. I am a cyclist accustomed to rain, cold, heat, falls and scratches, but also accustomed to getting up and continuing to pedal. I will keep fighting to compete and keep on the bike until my body and mind resist. I’m an honest racer, always have been, in my 260+ checks over the last ten years of my career I’ve had no issues. Since I have been a professional since 2009, I have followed the rules, competed with integrity and respected and honored fair play. Although it is true that I still do not have a team, I am a cyclist always available to carry a jersey and give my best on the road. I want to compete again, put on a bib, feel the need to respond to a team, the pain in my legs from the effort, but also the satisfaction of victory or of having given my best until the finish line. arrival, I want this. I need it because the competition is in me, but I also need a better environment so I can be calm and focused on it. »
Quintana in Europe in February
Nairo Quintana then answered a few questions. He took the opportunity to thank the Colombian teams who had shown interest in his profile, but he assures us that he wishes to continue his career with a World Tour team. The Colombian is still in discussions with some, and that is why he will travel to Europe in February to discuss in person. “Nairoman” continues to cling to his dream…