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Colombian climbing ace says he has prepared specifically to respond to Froome's dreaded attacks.

Photo: A.S.O.






08.07.2016 @ 12:41 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Movistar’s Nairo Quintana insists that he has learnt from his experience at last year's Tour de France, claiming that this year he will be ready for accelerations from Chris Froome on the first day in the Pyrenees on Friday should the Sky captain choose to go on the attack.


Twelve months ago, Froome sprung a surprise attack on all his rivals with a ferocious but well-planned attack on the slopes of La Pierre Saint Martin.


Keeping in mind Quintana’s announcements, beginning from the Col d’Aspin during today’s opening stage in the Pyrenees, the Colombian may be expected to sit tight on Froome’s back wheel and be ready for the Briton’s characteristic high-cadence accelerations.


“When he goes, it’s hard to stay with him but I’ve trained specifically to respond to his attacks and not lose ground,” Quintana told Gazzetta dello Sport.


“In the past, on Mont Ventoux, and La Pierre Saint Martin, I was the rider who lost least time to Chris but that’s not enough anymore. I think I’ve improved as a rider and matured too. I’ve learnt how to manage my strength and understand the moment when I’ve got to be 100 per cent ready, while also being tranquil and self-assured.”


Like last year, Quintana has steadily built his form during the current season to be ready for the Tour de France, winning the Vuelta a Catalunya in March and the Tour de Romandie in early May. After those wins he returned to his native country to work at altitude in preparation for the French grand tour. Quintana is a complete climber and believes this year’s mountainous Tour de France route could tilt the scales in his favour.


“When I saw the route I was happier than in the past. The mountains are my terrain and give me an edge, there’s even climbs in the time trials,” he pointed out. “I’ve also got the full support of the Movistar team and I’ve no problem handling the responsibility thanks to their help.”


Going into Friday's stage 6, Quintana is placed seventh overall, trailing BMC'S Greg van Avermaet by 5' 17" but, crucially, he hasn't lost to Froome so far.



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