Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic), 31, had a disappointing season, with just one stage and an overall victory in the Vuelta a Asturias, amidst a plethora of top five, 10 and 15.The Colombian star took sixth place in stage 15 of the Tour de France in Andorra behind stage winner Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma), but nothing better than that of the French Grand Tour.
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Talk to EFE after the Tour de France route was announced, Quintana said: “For me, the Tour is still the race of the year – all my preparation will be focused on the Tour. We will have to talk to the directors and the riders, and we will study the course, then we will make decisions on how we approach the Tour. “
The 2022 route has stages that are perfect for Quintana, but with crosswinds likely on the first stages in Denmark and northern France, as well as the cobblestones of the fifth stage, it could be difficult for the little climber. . The 40km time trial on the penultimate day of racing could also see Quintana losing a good deal of time.
“I’m a GC runner,” he continued. “Every year, I come to the Tour with these ambitions, except in 2021, when physical problems have destroyed them. The course is good for us. It is important to arrive in the best conditions to be able to face it. “
He will have to face big names if he wants to succeed, with Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) currently dominating the Tour with consecutive wins as well as Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma), Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) and potentially Remco Evenepoel ( Deceuninck – Quick-Step).
But Quintana is in a good mood at the end of the 2021 season: “We are good, we are improving every day. For the first time in a long time, I finished a season in good physical condition, and now I am motivated to work for the coming year. “
Quintana finished the 2021 season with good results in the Italian classics, including 10th at the Giro dell’Emilia, ninth in Milano-Turin and 11th at the last Monument of the year, Il Lombardia.