Nairo Quintana is Poised for a Comeback at the Tour Colombia with Movistar

By Monica Buck

In an eagerly anticipated return to professional cycling, Nairo Quintana will be part of the Movistar Team squad for the upcoming Tour Colombia, set to commence on February 6th. This marks a significant moment for Quintana, who will be racing in his homeland’s premier cycling event.

Quintana, 33, makes his comeback following an 18-month hiatus from international competition, a period during which he solely participated in the Colombian national championships. His absence from the sport was a consequence of his departure from the Arkéa-Samsic team, following a positive test for tramadol at the 2022 Tour de France, leading to his disqualification.

Despite the setback, Quintana faced no suspension and spent the 2023 season without a team until Movistar, his former team where he launched his WorldTour career in 2012 and remained until 2019, announced his unexpected return in October.
The inclusion of tramadol on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) list of prohibited substances this year means that any future positive tests could lead to suspension, adding a layer of caution to Quintana’s return.

Quintana’s lineup for the Tour Colombia 2.1 includes notable Colombian cyclists Iván Sosa and Fernando Gaviria, as well as international teammates Sergio Samitier (Spain), Albert Torres (Spain), and Vinicius Rangel (Brazil).

Quintana (C, all white) at the 2022 Ruta de Colombia. © Profimedia

Quintana shared his thoughts with El Colombiano, expressing optimism about his fitness level and eagerness to accumulate racing experience. His recent performance at the Colombian championships, where he secured fourth place in the time trial and 26th in the road race, has not dampened his spirits.

“The result doesn’t say anything about the condition,” Quintana remarked. “If we look at last year’s podium we all finished together, and if we look at the time trial, it’s similar. The important thing is that we are adding kilometres.”

Reflecting on his journey and reunion with Movistar, Quintana conveyed his gratitude and excitement. “We were able to ride well, unfortunately, it is not easy to make the right break, the strategy does not always go as one thinks, but the feeling and the body are very good. I am enormously grateful and excited, not pleased, but happy, happy to be in this new season with a team that has helped me a lot during this decade and that I carry, like many teammates, in my heart,” he said.

The fourth edition of the Tour Colombia 2.1 promises to be a thrilling event, covering a distance of 911.6 kilometers. The race will feature 25 teams, including top-tier WorldTour teams like Movistar, Astana, and EF Education-EasyPost, setting the stage for a competitive and exciting race.