Colombian superstar Nairo Quintana is back on the bike, albeit for just a few minutes a day, some two months after undergoing surgery on his left knee to repair damage sustained in a collision with a car this past summer.
“We are back in action,” Quintana said on social media. “It starts with feeling the fresh air in your face.”
A collision with a car during a training ride near his home in Colombia sidelined Quintana for several days last July.
While the Arkéa-Samsic physicians has initially thought some rest after the incident would allow the Colombian to race in top form, Quintana never proved to be as race-ready as he was prior to the collision, in which he set a new benchmark time on the ascent of Mont Ventoux en route to the win at the Tour de la Provence.
“Nairoman” finished the 2020 Tour de France with a fractured kneecap, reports the Dutch-based Wielerflits.
Quintana managed to remain in the top-10 on GC at the 2020 Tour until stage 17, where he was distanced from the lead group on the climb of the Col de la Madeleine, and further lost time on the Col de la Loze finish, ultimately ceding nearly nine minutes to his rivals.
The 30-year-old ended his 2020 season when he arrived in Paris, only to be accused of and investigated for using banned substances during the Tour. An investigation by French authorities found no incriminating evidence to back claims of PED use, and Quintana maintained he broke no rules.
Quintana missed an early-season team camp in mid-December as he was not yet recovered from the surgery.
With the likely revocation of invitations to WorldTour teams to the Vuelta a San Juan, and the cancelation of the Tour Colombia 2.1 and the early-season races in Australia, Quintana may be afforded some extra needed recovery before racing kicks off for the 2021 season.