Still in a haze from dominating Giro d’Italia, Movistar’s Nairo Quintana kept his eyes on the ultimate prize. Only 24, Quintana showed the perseverance of an elder statesman and made clear what his next goal was.
“My next goal will be to win the Tour de France one day,” he stated.
That feat will not be accomplished this year because Quintana has already said he would not compete in this year’s race despite coming in second to Chris Froome in 2013. The young velo-stunner still needed time to enjoy his well-deserved win and celebrate with his teammates.
“It’s very difficult to explain how much happiness is inside of me. This is one of the happiest days of my life. Thank you to my family, thank you to my team and to all the Colombians.”
And it seemed that all the Colombians were racing in the Giro d’Italia because the race began with 14 racers looking to become the first Colombian to be victorious in this race that is usually dominated by European cyclists. But there wasn’t a single European that donned the pink jersey during the event. In the end, Quintana shared the podium with his fellow countryman Rigoberto Uran.
Astana’s Fabio Aru continued to impress as he finished third overall but failed to secure the young rider’s jersey which was handed to Nairo Quintana. The blue jersey for mountains classifications was taken by another Colombian, Julian Arredondo.
Several racers tried to make headlines during the final stage. Svein Tuft and Lars Bak created a “Daytona 500” scrum with Stefano Pirazzi, Mikel Landa, and Carlos Quintero. Near the finish, Sebastian Chavanel served up FDJ partner in crime but it came to no avail due to Giacomo Nizzolo. But in the end, Luka Mezgec pulled an Edward Snowden and snuck in to steal the final stage.
Quintana has his eyes on the prize.