Two-time Grand Tour winner Nairo Quintana will target victory in all the races he takes part in with his new French outfit Arkea Samsic, the Colombian told AFP at his new team base on Sunday.
The 29-year-old was a two-time winner of the best young rider on the Tourde France, won the Giro and the Vuelta, but has left major Spanish outfit Movistar to try his luck with a team not yet in cycling’s top tier.
“We hope to pick up invitations to as many classics and Tours as possible,” he told AFP.
“France is the country where it’s at in terms of cycling, there’s lots of teams and lots of races,” said Quintana, a huge star in his homeland who will now be based in Brittany.
“I want to win every race we enter, starting with Paris-Nice,” he said of the March eight-day Tour where he ended runner-up to Egan Bernal last season.
“France is also where I achieved my greatest success,” said Bernal, who has finished on the Tour de France podium three times.
The 2020 route for the Tour de France would suit a climber of Quintana’s qualities, but his team will need a wild card entry, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic route looks good for a climber and Colombia can take five riders.
“The Tour route looks good, especially with that uphill time-trial at the end, it’s in a place I know well,” he said of the tough and potentially decisive stage of ‘Planche des Belles Filles’.
“And I would love to be selected for the Olympic Games, I have missed two of them,” said Quintana, who appears to take great pride in representing his nation.
RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini