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Nairo Quintana announces he’s not retiring from professional road cycling

Colombian Giro and Vuelta winner wants more than 14 seasons

Photo by: Sirotti

Despite the rumours that he was going to retire, Nairo Quintana, the Colombian winner of the 2014 Giro d’Italia and 2016 Vuelta a España, announced in Wednesday’s emotional Bogota press conference that he is determined to stay retirement from racing. Quintana returned a positive for the banned substance tramadol during the 2022 Tour de France, where he was sixth. His results were scrubbed and he didn’t start the Vuelta a España. Shortly thereafter the two-time Tour runner-up was let go by French ProTour team Arkea-Samsic a couple of months before the squad joined the ranks of the WorldTour.

“I’m going to keep battling to continue,” he said, “to continue on the bike until my body and mind give way. I want to return to competition, pin a number on, feel the pain in the legs but also the satisfaction of victory and of giving the best of myself until the line. I want this, I need this, because competition is a part of me.”

Nairo Quintana
Nairo Quintana climbs Monte Zoncolan while wearing the maglia rosa during Stage 20 of the 2014 Giro d’Italia. Image: Stefano Sirotti

Quintana turned down a chance to race with third-tier Colombian teams, saying he is determined to return to competition at its highest level.

Nairo Quintana smooches his second Neptune’s trident trophy after winning the 2017 Tirreno-Adriatico.

After great success with Movistar, Quintana 2020 transfer to French ProTour outfit Arkea-Samsic was a curious one; however, he rolled up 11 victories in his three years with the team, but only one WorldTour stage.

The 32 year old was unable to find another WorldTour or ProTour team for 2023 although he was recently linked to the burgundy-clad Italian ProTour squad Corratec.