Colombian cyclist Nairo Quintana, without a team after his disqualification for doping during the 2022 Tour de France, said on Monday that he was “living a dream” after having found a place within the Spanish team Movistar. During this blank year, “I dreamed of returning to competition (...) and today, thanks to this new opportunity, I am still living this dream,” declared the 33-year-old runner during a press conference. in Bogota. Quintana was disqualified from the Tour, in which he took 6th place, after the discovery in his blood of traces of tramadol, a painkiller prohibited by medical regulations. After his appeal was rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), he terminated his contract with the French team Arkéa-Samsic.
The Colombian returns to the Spanish team where he shone between 2012 and 2019, notably winning the 2014 Giro and the 2016 Vuelta, without however managing to win in the Tour de France. He finished second in 2013, in his first participation, and in 2015, then third in 2016. He also won three stages of the Grande Boucle, each time triggering hysteria in his native country, which is passionate about cycling. “I knew that the Colombians, with all their hearts (...) wanted me to be on the roads again,” declared the pocket climber (1.67 m, 58 kg).
Quintana claimed to be “in good shape, athletically” as he continued to train. In February, he took third place in the Colombian Championship on his return to competition. He said he never thought about retiring after his disqualification. “I will continue,” he said, without specifying the competitions in which he would participate in 2024. The cyclist, however, declared that he would like to represent Colombia at the Paris Olympics. “There is a possibility (...) I want to do everything” to achieve this, he declared.