Nairo Quintana was rewarded for his 2014 season efforts on Wednesday, as he was presented with an award for the Best Ibero-American Sportsman of 2014 at the Royal Palace in Madrid by the King of Spain.
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While it might seem somewhat late to be awarding the Colombian for his efforts last year this far in to 2015, it was certainly the 25-year-old’s best season to date, as he took victory in the Giro d’Italia ahead of compatriot Rigoberto Uran and Italian Fabio Aru.
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The Movistar man received his award at the Spanish National Sports Awards ceremony in the capital, where he was recognised for his achievements by the King and Queen of Spain, with special preference in the award given to those athletes working in Spanish teams.
“It was a real honour to be able to share the stage with such great athletes, and to shake hands with the King, who I have never had the pleasure of speaking to before today,” Quintana said before flying back to his native Colombia.
“As I leave for Colombia, I am delighted with my season, and with this award in recognition of the progress I have made in my career.
“After a few days of rest, I will start training for the 2016 season, when great challenges await me.”
Quintana is set to focus on a triple set of goals in 2016, as he looks to better his second place at the Tour de France this year behind Chris Froome (Team Sky), as well as seeking glory at the Olympic road race and the Vuelta a España.