Movistar's Nairo Quintana is still confident of overcoming the deficit on Chris Froome at the Tour de France, predicting he'll take yellow in the Alps

Nairo Quintana has lost time to Sky’s Chris Froome, but he and his team are not resigning themselves to second place in the Tour de France.

Quintana, who was welcomed like a king stepping out of his palace as he exited the Movistar bus before stage 12, “does not know fear”, according to his team.

Nairo stepped off the bus in the white jersey of the best young rider. He also won it in 2013, as well as the polka dot jersey and placed second overall to Froome. This year his goal is still the yellow jersey.

“We are going to take the jersey with an attack or just to ride Froome off our wheels in the mountain stages,” Quintana told Cycling Weekly.

“Our team is strong, we are going well, also with Alejandro [Valverde], who is going very well. No, the race isn’t over. If I’m able to, I’ll ride clear.”

Fans crowded in closely. Further, past the barriers, they chanted: “Nairo! Nairo! Nairo!”

Movistar plans to position five-foot-six Quintana for a lethal attack in the coming days. The win, just like the one he took at the 2014 Giro d’Italia, is within reach, they say.

Even with the time loss in the cross-winds of stage two and nearly a minute on La Pierre-Saint-Martin on Tuesday, Movistar’s captain is not simply going to hand Froome another title.

“Sky are strong,” he added, “but the team is trying to manage the race and is to an attack.”

Quintana began to fight his way through the fans to reach the stage sign in on Thursday in Lannemezan, southwest France.

“Nairo does not know fear,” Team Manager Eusebio Unzué said

“We are convinced the win is possible, we are working for it. The overall classification is still open and not closed down.

“We are still faithful that Nairo can find a magnificent day to recover his time and put Froome in difficultly.”

Unzué, who guided Miguel Indurain and Alejandro Valverde, admitted Sky raced a perfect first week and could draw on the firepower from Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte in the final of a mountain stage.

“They are better; they raced the first week perfectly. The other day, on the first mountaintop finish, they were perfect,” he said.

“At the moment, it’s a bit difficult for us, Alejandro can match Thomas, but we don’t have a third rider like Porte. However, let’s see, the Tour has many twists and turns.”

  • poisonjunction

    Time for Sky to work with Nibali, now 8th on GC @ 7m 49 to get him on the podium?

    A ‘dream’ equation:
    Thomas, 6th on GC @ 5m 32, steals away, Nibali is given the Sky nod and joins him, Porte follows. They work, Thomas doing less, all gain 5m, placing Nibali 3rd on GC@ 2m 49, and Thomas 2nd @32s on GC! Thomas leads Porte out for stage win! QED

    . . . . Froome sits on the rest . . . . . . seem a bit risky?

  • Jon

    “That’s the problem of being a Colombian, they don’t use doping to win tours like Froome” – you might want to check your history there, as well as stop making false allegations about Froome.

    Quintana is great rider and I look forward to the battle in the Alps, and if he wins I won’t be slinging any mud in his direction.

  • castano

    Most Colombians are talented hard working people for example Rodolfo Llinas , Shakira, Nairo Quintana, unfortunately most people in the world co-relate Our wonderful country with drugs…
    I ask ignorants like Desbil to stop the DEMAND that way ONLY some minority in South America can stop the SUPPLY.

  • Carlos Gomez

    Desbil – I don’t usually do this, but I couldn’t help it… here it goes…

    I feel sorry for you because you are simply an IGNORANT person (as in “lacking knowledge or information”).

    Just FYI:

    1. Yes, he is in fact an “indio”… I assume you chose that word as an insult, but it is a fact that most Colombians are descendants of “indios”, so it is somewhat accurate to say Nairo is one… and I’m sure he is PROUD of it. This means your insult backfired BIG TIME.
    Now, if I used the same logic you used when choosing the word “indio”, I could state (with a high degree of certainty) that you are -most likely- one of the following:

    – A two-faced-and-snobby-douche
    – A loud-mouthed-obnoxious-drunk
    – A physically-disgusting-British-ginger

    Just because that’s what “everyone” around the world thinks of British people… but rest assure I will only think of you as an IGNORANT.

    2. Regarding the Gold Columbian, I’m sure you know everything about it… But I am Colombian and had to Google it to know what you were talking about (it was pretty obvious but I wanted to confirm). This confirms my previous statement: You are an IGNORANT… you neglect all available information (coming from good and reliable sources) about Colombia and probably rely on manipulated news and inaccurate Hollywood films…
    Moreover, you IGNORE how hurtful and out-of-topic this is. Drugs and violence bring very painful memories and are still regarded a major issues for our country, so we appreciate that IGNORANT foreigners stay out of it… if you want to get high, do it on your own and leave us out of it.

    On the CYCLING side of my comment: If Nairo thinks he can take yellow or at least give Froome a run for his money, I think it´s wonderful and shows great ambition and true leadership. Time will tell, but if he does… could you please post a picture of your face just after the stage is finished? I would love to see it!

  • juliandavid123

    Nairo took 3 minutes on Froome from last 2 mountain stages in 2013. So it is likely tho

  • Ο μπατίρης ο Λουκάς

    Well there are 4 mountain stages yet meaning he has to take 1 min each stage from Froome. Can;t see it happening.
    Good luck

  • Ambientereal

    Well, Nairo should do it if he can, and the ones that think that Froome is invincible because he is doping, should stop offending a valuable rider like Chris without proof.

  • William Lopez

    Hey you Desbil, Is Colombia!!! no columbia! stupid!!!..learn to write!!

  • Elias

    Froome will burn out soon.