As the Tour de France is set to enter Colombia’s Nairo Quintana’s favorite part of the course, the mountains, he is going to have to defeat the team of yellow jersey-wearing Christopher Froome.
Sunday’s Tour de France team time trial set Colombia’s Nairo Quintana three seconds behind yellow-jersey-wearing Brit Christopher Froome (Sky Team), who was able to set his lead over Quintana on 1’59”.
Nevertheless, Quintana’s team, Movistar, performed well in the race, pushing its leader into the top 10 of the tour together with the remaining favorites, Alberto Contador and Tejay van Gardenen (BMC).
Rigoberto Uran, Colombia’s second star rider in The Tour, is also 41 seconds ahead of his compatriot.
However, thanks to his team’s performance on Sunday, Quintana has already been able to take a lead on Vincenzo Nibali, last year’s winner, and was able to reduce the distance to Contador with 24 seconds.
“Being up there with the time trial specialists is very good,” Quintana had said at the finish.
“We have specialists in the team too who were very good on the flatter parts and then we climbers helped where the terrain suited us. We lost out narrowly on the stage but we’ve gained ground on some of our other rivals,” the Colombian rider told press.
Monday is a day of rest for the riders after which the first day of racing will begin in the Pyrenees, one of the two mountain ranges covered by the Tour de France.
Quintana, who grew up cycling Colombia’s Andes mountains, will face a defensive Sky Team and an enthusiastic BMC team in the mountains.
“I hope that little by little we can recover that time. Today we’ve picked up a bit on some rivals. In the mountains, we have to try to make up some more,” Quintana said.
According to international press, Quintana is one of the “Big Four” with most chances of winning this year’s Tour de France, something no Colombian rider has achieved in the history of cycling.