Colombia rider Nairo Quintana said Thursday “something is happening” that impedes him from performing at the level he wants at this year’s Tour de France.
Quintana said so after losing another minute and ten seconds to leader Chris Froome in Thursday’s 17-kilometer time-trial from Sallanches to Megeve.
The Colombian was among the favorites to win the tour, but has not been able to carry out significant attacks in the mountains where he generally performs best.
“Something is going on,” Quintana was quoted as saying by Spanish news agency EFE. “This type of performance is not normal. I didn’t expect to be like this,” he said.
“It’s not fatigue I am feeling but my body isn’t responding,” said the rider.
According to Quintana, “some kind of allergy” could cause his legs from under-performing.
While having lost to Froome and in spite his presumed illness, Quintana did climb in the general classification as competitors also had trouble keeping up with Froome who convincingly won the Tour’s 18th stage.
Quintana is currently lagging four minutes and 37 seconds behind the top position, but is only 55 seconds behind Dutchman Bauke Mollema, who is second in the general classification.
The riders only have three more stages to determine who will take place on the pedestal in Paris where the last stage will end on Sunday.