Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In



Nairo Quintana offered lifeline as future remains uncertain

Team Medellín EPM, a continental level squad, offers Colombian star a spot on its team for 2023.

Lock Icon

Unlock this article and more benefits with 25% off.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

25% Off Outside+.
$4.99/month $3.75/month*

Get the one subscription to fuel all your adventures.

  • Map your next adventure with our premium GPS apps: Gaia GPS Premium and Trailforks Pro.
  • Read unlimited digital content from 15+ brands, including Outside Magazine, Triathlete, Ski, Trail Runner, and VeloNews.
  • Watch 600+ hours of endurance challenges, cycling and skiing action, and travel documentaries.
  • Learn from the pros with expert-led online courses.
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

Nairo Quintana received a lifeline from a third-tier Colombian team as his future remains uncertain in the wake of his tramadol case.

Team Medellín EPM, a Continental-level squad, posted a social media message offering Quintana a spot on its team for 2023. There was no immediate response, but the team promised an international calendar to keep the two-time grand tour winner busy.

“Nairo is our great representative of Colombian cycling to the world. For this reason, from Team Medellín EPM, we offer you to continue your sports career with us with a wide national and international calendar,” a note read. “How proud it would be for Medellín for you to represent us.”

Also read:

Quintana, 33 in February, is at a career crossroads following a setback after the Court of Arbitration for Sport denied his appeal in the UCI’s disqualification of his 2022 Tour de France results after tramadol was found in his system during two controls in July.

Though it won’t be on the WADA banned list until 2024, tramadol is prohibited in competition by the UCI.

Quintana denied taking the opioid painkiller, but his CAS reversal sees him stranded without a team going into 2023.

Arkéa-Samsic, which he joined in 2020, pulled out of a three-year contract extension with Quintana this summer following the tramadol case, and has since distanced itself from the Colombian superstar.

A few WorldTour teams publicly denied they were pursuing Quintana for 2023, and it remains to be seen if a major team will pick him up next season.

Quintana continues to train and will host his Gran Fondo Nairo in Medellín this weekend.

Víctor Hugo Peña, speaking in the Colombian media, said he expects Quintana to keep racing.

“This is proving hard for him, but that’s when the great ones are forged,” said Peña, the first Colombian to wear the yellow jersey.

“I confide in him, and he’s a strong guy, who’ll cry, wipe away the tears, and he will continue,” Peña said. “I am positive he will not give up. What he has to do is speak with his legs, and do what he’s always done, this guy with a hard and strong face. Now is the time that he has to go forward, and that would be one of his most important victories.”

Quintana last raced at the world championship in Australia.

Quintana vowed to keep racing and remains a force to contend with, riding to sixth overall in the Tour, a result that was later erased from the results sheet.

Quintana has raced at the WorldTour level since 2012, and it remains to be seen where he might land going into 2023.