Nairo Quintana has no team: "But I'm not giving up, I want to race"

Quintana had just agreed a contract extension with Arkéa-Samsic until 2025, when it turned out that he tested positive for Tramadol 2 times in the Tour.

That is a violation of the UCI medical regulations, not the anti-doping rules. For the record, therefore, a suspension does not automatically follow here. He did see his 6th place removed from the Tour.

Quintana denied any use of the painkiller and appealed to the TAS against his removal, but was unsuccessful.

At the beginning of October, the message followed that he would leave the French team, without giving any reason, but it can be guessed that the affair played a role.

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Quintana then said he wanted to keep racing. And he repeated that today, even though the 2014 Giro winner and 2016 Vuelta winner still hasn’t found a team.

“I continue to prepare to participate in the most important races in the world,” it sounded very combative. “A real rider doesn’t give up in the face of a difficulty.”

The pocket climber wants to “compete again, pin on a back number and meet the demands of a team”.

He plans to go to Europe very soon “to see what is possible”. “I talked to different teams, but the negotiations never went to the end.”

Quintana dreams of a Tour victory, but so far had to be satisfied with two second places (2013 and 2015) and a third place (2016). He was allowed to celebrate a day victory 3 times in France, each of those successes caused euphoria in his home country.

He is the most acclaimed Colombian rider with 51 victories, only his compatriot Egan Bernal ever managed to win the Tour, in 2019.

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Peggy McColl

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