Cycling – Movistar: Quintana’s return to Europe postponed

2024-02-15 13:47:13

Published on February 15, 2024 at 2:47 p.m.

Aurélien Canot

Nairo Quintana should have ended nineteen months in a few days without competing in a race on European soil. Testing positive for Covid-19 following the Tour of Colombia, the Colombian rider from the Movistar team was forced to postpone his reunion with Europe.

The Colombian runner had noted the meeting on his diary. After nineteen months without competing in a single race on European soil, Nairo Quintana (34 years old) was indeed preparing to reconnect with Europe on the occasion of “O Gran Camino” (February 22 to 25), the meeting in Galicia which will include Richard Carapaz and Jonas Vingegaard, double winner of the Tour de France, next week in Spain. The reunion between the emblematic climber of the Movistar team and the Old Continent will ultimately wait. The second in the Grande Boucle in 2013 and 2015, although he was already wearing the Movistar jersey at the time, was forced to postpone his big return to Europe. At the end of the Tour de Colombian, which he had finished abnormally exhausted, the former leader of the French team Arkéa-Samsic left Brittany following a positive doping test which had earned him a one-year suspension to return to Spain five years later he learned that he was not suffering from the flu, as he thought, but from Covid-19, his positive test subsequently having removed all doubts.

Quintana in Europe end Mars?

Quintana immediately announced that he would not be able to line up at the start of “O Gran Camino”, and would therefore not immediately return to Europe. “My return to Europe will be delayed until I no longer suffer from the coronavirus, so I will not be able to take part in the O Gran Camiño race,” lamented the winner of the 2014 Giro and the 2016 Vuelta, who returned to passage on his very small state of form on the Tour which took place in his country as well as on the days which followed the event. “I finished the Tour of Colombia very ill. When I got home, I rested, I took a Covid test, and it was positive. I had very strong symptoms, but today I am peacefully at home. » Without yet knowing when he might return to competition. “I will tell you very quickly what other races I will do,” promised Quintana, however, who European spectators will therefore not see in action once more straight away. The Colombian should nevertheless meet them once more during the Tour of Catalonia next month (March 18 to 24).

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