Road

Quintana on the mend as he targets 2015 Tour

The Colombian says his 2015 season will be based around the race for the yellow jersey

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) continues his recovery from his season-ending crash at the Vuelta a España, but he’s already outlining his 2015 season.

And there is no big surprise; the Tour de France will be his main target.

“I am aiming for the Tour, which will be principal goal next season,” Quintana told Colombian journalists. “I will use the Tour de Suisse to prepare, and I hope for the maximum in the Tour.”

After riding to second overall in 2013, Quintana, 24, skipped this year’s Tour under team orders, and won the Giro d’Italia in dramatic, or perhaps controversial, fashion. After watching Movistar teammate Alejandro Valverde finish fourth overall at the Tour, Quintana returned to Europe in August, and promptly won the Vuelta a Burgos.

He started the Vuelta as a favorite and rode into the leader’s jersey, but he crashed heavily in the decisive Borja individual time trial. He crashed again the next day in stage 11, breaking a bone in his shoulder that required surgery.

“I should be able to return to training in two weeks, and by January, I should very good. Now I have 75 percent mobility in my shoulder,” he told Colombian journalists. “This season, I rode well through the spring, and won the Giro with authority. The second half didn’t go as we had hoped, but I abandoned as leader, and that gives me tranquility.”

Speaking to Colombian media, Quintana confirmed the outline of his 2015 season.

He will debut at the Tour de San Luís to defend his title, then head to Europe to race Paris-Nice, the Volta a Catalunya, the Vuelta al Pais Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country), and the Ardennes classics. After a return to Colombia, Quintana will tune his form at the Tour de Suisse ahead of the Tour.

It’s unclear if Valverde will race the Tour. The veteran Spaniard recently signed a three-year contract extension with Movistar, though team brass have made it clear the team will ride for Quintana in the 2015 Tour.