FERMO, Italy (VN) — Nairo Quintana (Movistar), who looks ready to win Tirreno-Adriatico on Tuesday, will travel home to Colombia and race little ahead of the Giro d’Italia in May. It is part of his “calm” approach towards the Giro d’Italia/Tour de France double attempt later this year.
Quintana will leave “right away” for Boyacá, in the East Andes, after the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race ends in San Benedetto del Tronto. He will stay there until a couple of days before the three-day Vuelta Asturias on April 29.
The Giro d’Italia begins May 5 in Sardinia.
“So the Tirreno-Adriatico is a peak in form and he’ll build back up again for the Giro, otherwise it’s impossible to stay so strong from the Vuelta a Valenciana, strong in Tirreno-Adriatico and through May,” team Movistar sports director Chente García told VeloNews.
“This year, Nairo’s trying to take it calmly because he has two big events with the Giro and Tour.”
The 27-year-old Colombian upset Chris Froome (Sky) to win the Vuelta a España last year and won the Giro d’Italia in 2014. In the Tour de France, he twice placed second overall to Froome and third to the Brit in 2016.
This season, he is aiming to win both the Giro and Tour. He began his race campaign in Spain at the Challenge Mallorca and at the Vuelta a Valenciana. He won the summit finish in Valenciana and the eventual overall.
In Tirreno-Adriatico, he did the same on the summit finish up Monte Terminillo on Saturday. He broke free from his rivals Geraint Thomas (Sky), Adam Yates (Orica-Scott), and Rigoberto Urán (Cannondale-Drapac) with two kilometers to race. He now holds the leader’s blue jersey with 50 seconds over Thibaut Pinot (FDJ).
“Nairo has been going well since Valenciana. He’s won right away and showed that he’s intelligent and maybe just that much ahead with respect to his rivals,” added García
“Intelligent, not always attacking, but yesterday, he very calm, letting [teammate] Castroviejo ride ahead and sitting with his helpers Moreno and Amador behind. It was very important with Castroviejo front. With him ahead, Nairo was mas tranquilo.
“After Tirreno, he’ll go home and rest. His rivals are all on different programs, Landa and Nibali may have less form now, but they are building up slowly with Catalunya or País Vasco. Nairo started strongly and is now going to take a break.”
Quintana usually takes a similar approach to the Tour de France, staying in Colombia and only returning to race the low-key Route du Sud beforehand.
This year, with the double in mind, he will have a different June plan.
“No,” García responded when asked if Quintana would return to Colombia in June. “I think he’ll stay in Andorra and stay concentrated. Mostly, he’ll be in Andorra and some at his home in Monaco.”
In that period, Quintana may preview some of the Tour de France stages. In February, he already previewed the Giro d’Italia’s mountain stages in the north and the 39.2-kilometre Umbria time trail at the end of the first week.