Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic), 31, has had a disappointing season, with just a stage and overall win at the Vuelta a Asturias coming his way, amid a plethora of top fives, 10s and 15s.
The Colombian star managed sixth place on stage 15 of the Tour de France into Andorra behind stage winner Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma), but nothing better than that at the French Grand Tour.
Speaking to EFE (opens in new tab)after the Tour de France route was announced, Quintana said: "For me, the Tour is always the race of the year - all of my preparation will be focused on the Tour. We’ll have to talk to the directors and riders, and we’ll study the route, and then we’ll make some decisions about how we will take on the Tour."
The 2022 route does have some stages that suit Quintana perfectly, but with likely crosswinds on the opening stages in Denmark and Northern France, as well as the cobbles on stage five, it could be tough for the diminutive climber. The 40km time trial on the penultimate day of the race could also see Quintana lose a good chunk of time.
"I am a GC rider," he continued. "Every year I come to the Tour with these ambitions, except 2021, when physical problems wiped them out. The route is good for us. It’s important to arrive in top condition to be able to take it on."
He would have to go up against some huge names if he is to succeed, with Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) currently dominating the Tour with back-to-back wins as well as Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma), Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) and potentially Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck - Quick-Step).
But Quintana is in good spirits at the end of the 2021 season: "We are good, improving every day. For the first time in a while I finished off a season in good physical shape, and now I’m motivated to work for the coming year."
Quintana finished the 2021 season with some good results in the Italian Classics, including 10th in the Giro dell'Emilia, ninth in Milano-Torino and 11th at the final Monument of the year, Il Lombardia.
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