Nairo Quintana looks to win big with his new Arkea-Samsic team
Nairo Quintana will target victory in all the races he takes part in with his new team Arkea-Samsic, the Colombian said
“Some have understood my choice, others have not. Too bad,” he said. “I come here with a lot of joy, a smile, and motivation. Now, I had never imagined that I would wear the colors of a French team one day, but Yvon Ledanois is one of my former sports directors. Together we won a lot of races. He contacted me in the spring, and then he introduced me to Emmanuel Hubert. He convinced me to join his team. The way he introduced me to things brought me a lot of serenity.”
“We hope to pick up invitations to as many classics and Tours as possible,” Quintana said. “France is the country where it’s at in terms of cycling, there’s lots of teams and lots of races,”.
“I want to win every race we enter, starting with Paris-Nice. France is also where I achieved my greatest success,” said Quintana, who has finished on the Tour de France podium three times.
The 2020 route for the Tour de France would suit a climber of Quintana’s qualities, but his team will need a wild card entry.
“The Tour route looks good, especially with that uphill time-trial at the end, it’s in a place I know well,” he said of the tough and potentially decisive stage of ‘Planche des Belles Filles’.
“And I would love to be selected for the Olympic Games, I have missed two of them,” said Quintana.
At 29, the rider will leave next season the Spanish Movistar for a three-year contract with Arkea-Samsic and a status of "co-leader" with Warren Barguil, the reigning French champion. Nairo Quintana won the Giro d'Italia in 2014 and La Vuelta in 2016 and finished twice second (2013, 2015) and once third (2018) of the Tour de France.
"Nairo is still in the game. He has not finished putting results on his record " assured Emmanuel Hubert, explaining that he wanted "post as one of the best teams in the world and win a big tour. " The budget of Arkea-Samsic will increase significantly next season. "We are doing everything as if we were already a Pro Tour team. We give ourselves three seasons to make the project a reality by winning a Grand Tour. " summarized the general manager.