Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos honored Colombian cyclist Nairo Quintana on Tuesday for his successes in the Tour de France.
The slightly built twenty-three year old was presented with “Order of Boyaca, Commanders level” for his achievements in this year’s Tour de France. The Order of Boyaca is a medal that is bestowed upon exceptional Colombian military personnel and non-serving citizens who have achieved the extraordinary.
Quintana, himself from the Boyaca department, also showcased his Tour de France polka-dot jersey which he won for being “the king of the mountains.” He also won the “young rider” classification, attaining the white racing jersey. The young rider classification was established in 1975 and is given to the top finishing cyclist of competitors who are under 26 years of age.
Nairo Quintana is the only cyclist ever to win the king of the mountains classification and the young rider classification in the same year. He reached second place over all in the general classification, just behind Great Britain’s Chris Froome.
— Le Tour De France (@letour) July 21, 2013
Santos told Quintana that “on behalf of the 47 million Colombians who are inspired by his example, I want to say thank you very much for the injection of optimism that you have given to the country.”
The president said that he had “rarely given this award with more enthusiasm” saying that Nairo had kept up the good name of Colombia on an international stage. Santos said that Quintana would now proceed to his home town of Combita and give away five racing bikes to promising young cyclists.
- Un regalo con altura (El Espectador)
- Presidente Santos condecora con la Orden de Boyacá al ciclista Nairo Quintana (President’s website)