Nairo Quintana: "I feel in good condition”
Nairo Quintana will make his “comeback” on the roads of the Besançon Classic.
“I will be close to home this weekend, I know the roads of the region. I have already ridden the Tour du Jura and the Doubs, and Besançon will be a discovery. These are interesting races with bumps that hurt. I think the team was happy with my behaviour in Belgium, it was a discovery for me these Belgian cobbled classics, with mythical places. I have already raced with Dayer Quintana and this time I will race with Nairo. I watched him on TV during the Tour during his great mythical battles against Froome, and now to be in the same team as him to race the Eastern classics is really nice“.
“I took a short break between the Tour de France and the Olympic Games in order to approach the end of the season – which will be important for me and the Arkéa-Samsic team – with a fresh mind. I have been training at home in Colombia for the last few weeks. I’ve done some good sessions and I’ve even climbed higher in altitude than where I live. I feel very good, I am in good condition to tackle the races that are coming up with the Arkéa-Samsic team, and they will certainly be competitions that suit me well and correspond to the profile of the rider I am, with a lot of altitude difference. I also know that I will benefit from the hard work of my team-mates. I have great ambitions for the end of the season on a personal level, but also collectively in order to make the colours of the Arkéa-Samsic team shine. The end of the season will be crucial for us to get UCI points, but also with the intention to finish 2021 with good performances, which can only be beneficial in the perspective of the preparation of the 2022 season”.
“Besançon is a new race on the professional calendar that we will discover. I started to look at its profile, and I could see that the final was embellished with two bumps, two small passes. There is plenty to do. I hope to have recovered well from Plouay, the distance will be different than the one that was proposed in Brittany, but I also think that these will be two totally different races. I am motivated as always to do well, I hope that the legs will respond better than in the last few weeks. It wasn’t easy with the deficiencies I had, but I’m recovering little by little. I have to be patient and we will see this weekend”.
“Besançon is a race for riders with a puncher profile. Nairo Quintana will make his return to competition on this occasion. We are counting on him for the end of the year, the goal is for the team to get as many successes as possible and, as a result, important UCI points for our team’s ranking in the Europe Tour. Besançon will be the first event in which Nairo will compete after his participation in the Olympic Games, and it has been decided in consultation with him that he will compete in the three Eastern classics that count for the French Cup, two of which have been moved to the end of the season because of the pandemic that was raging in Europe in the spring”.