Nairo Quintana does not retire from cycling and, although he is still without a team, he stated that he intends to continue in the international squad during 2023.

The 32-year-old cyclist from Boyacá affirmed yesterday, at a press conference in Bogotá, that he is in good physical shape and that he is «a fighter, one more Colombian who overcomes all kinds of circumstances to move forward.»

He thus referred to the disqualification he suffered from the last Tour de France and his abrupt departure from the Arkea team (which had renewed his contract until 2025) due to the discovery of tramadol in two of his analyzes during the Tour. That is a substance prohibited in competitions by the International Cycling Union (UCI). Quintana’s appeal failed in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAS), which ratified the punishment.

«I want to tell you that I am in good shape to continue, that due to the events of recent months, in which the rarefied environment in which I have developed is undeniable and the inexplicable wall that has been raised between the possibilities of competing and my desire to continue doing soI don’t give up and I keep moving forward,» he said.

The 2014 Giro d’Italia champion, the 2016 Vuelta a España and double runner-up in the Tour de France (2013 and 2015) insisted that he is an honest rider and that in the last 10 years of his career he has had no problems in more than 260 doping controls.

Nairo is not sanctioned and could compete. However, the president of the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC), Roger Legeay, told EL TIEMPO that this organization «works by the will of the teams and adheres to a very strict philosophy.» Nine teams from the World Tour, the highest category, are part of the MPCC; 15 of the Proteam, the second and 13 of the Continental level.

(In detail: Nairo Quintana remains firm and does not retire from cycling, video).

Nairo Quintana will announce this Wednesday what will happen to his futureIn a press conference in Bogotá, the 2014 Giro d’Italia champion will clear up doubts about whether or not he will continue on the bike.

Image, money and fear

Announcement of his retirement from Arkéa Samsic


Instagram: @nairoquintanaoficial

Consequently, the big problem that Nairo now has is that, even if he is a desirable cyclist, it is not so easy for him to be signed due to various factors.

“Many want to hire him, 90 percent of the World Tour, but the teams feel conditioned not to do so. The theme of the image, what will they say, what happens if we sign it with that problem harms them”, the Spanish coach, Álvaro Pino, told EL TIEMPO. And he added: «The image of the team and the sponsors is a tough and delicate issue, nobody can take risks.»

There are no more places in the World Tour teams and the season has already started. Another option is to get a Proteam set, but their budgets are short. «He is fit to run and in the Proteam he has good options, the issue is that in this category money is little and they cannot afford it,» said Paolo Alberati, cyclist manager.

Eduardo Chozas, a Spanish ex-cyclist and prominent analyst, warns that the teams are afraid to hire Nairo: “A second-class team would be ideal, but they are afraid to tell about it. They do not dare because their prestige is at stake by having a broker who had a problem ”, he affirmed.

Huts, in addition, coincide with Alberati in the economic obstacle. “Nairo does not run for free, he has his cache. There are more complete squads and the Proteams are not so solvent as to have a cyclist with that record, ”he analyzed.

In the Continental category teams a possibility could open up. They are the ones who cannot compete in the World Tour and their calendar is one of very local events. For example, Team Medellín, already discarded by Nairo himself.

Nairo does not retire and must face new slopes…


In networks: @LisandroAbel

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