viernes, 18 de julio de 2014

Nairo's Great Absence

The great absence. Nairo Quintana. (Photo: Wikipedia)
2014 has been, by any measure, a banner year for Colombian bike racer Nairo Quintana. After all, he won the Tour de San Luis in Argentina and finished second, behind Alberto Contador, in the Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy. Then, Quintana, despite being sick, went on to win the Giro de Italia, one of cycling's three grand tours, as well as claiming the Giro's 'best young rider' award.

Nairo Quintana in the Tour of Britain.
(Photo: Wikipedia)
So, it seemed reasonable enough for Quintana to skip this year's Tour de France - despite finishing second last year - in order to rest up for the Vuelta a España, the third grand tour.

But early on in this year's Tour, the two favorites, Briton Chris Froome and Spaniard Alberto Contador crashed out, meaning that Quintana, if he were racing, would have a grand chance to win the grandest tour of all.

Of course Quintana, 24, should have many more opportunities to win the Tour de France. But in cycling, like all sports, anything could happen: a bad injury, the rise of another great champion, a personal crisis, which could eliminate his future chances.

That might leave Quintana looking back with regret to 2014, when the bicycle racing's greatest prize was almost there to be plucked.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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