Nairo Quintana will be the “first Colombian to win” the Tour de France, according to Pedro Delgado, Spanish ex-cyclist and winner of the world’s most important cycling event in 1988.
Delgado added “I don’t know whether it will be this year. At best he will not just win once but various time. Given his enormous potential and young age (24 years) some ten years of good cycling lay ahead of him.”
Twice winner of the Vuelta a España in 1985 and 1989, Delgado marked that, on the other hand, the Italian Fabio Aru could be Nairo’s “natural rival for the coming years.”
As yet Quintana has won the 2014 Giro de Italia and ended second place in the 2013 Tour the France. Last year he announced his participation in the Tour de France of 2015. He could not compete in last year’s race given the little recovery time between the Giro de Italia and the Tour de France.
Nairo Quintana, born the son of two peasants in Combita, Central Colombia, has been cycling for the Spanish Movistar team since 2012. His passion for cycling emerged when his parents bought him a bicycle at the age of 15. Due to the economic hardship of his family his parents were unable to send him to school by bus, and thus bought him a $30 bicycle instead.
What was intended as a way of saving money, however, has turned into a glorious career.
After having received the bike, the young Quintana would cycle the 18-mile round trip to school every day, daydreaming of racing. “I imagined I was in a race and always tried to win,” he told newspaper El Tiempo in a 2010 interview.