Nairo Quintana says riders are racing 'not to lose'

The 2014 Giro champion Nairo Quintana says riders are not prepared to risk losing races, meaning they attack less.

Nairo Quintana on stage nineteen of the 2014 Giro d'Italia

(Image credit: Watson)

Nairo Quintana says modern riders are too afraid to lose races, meaning that the best climbers are not willing to make long attacks in the mountains.

In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais, the 2014 Giro d’Italia champion admits he has to temper his emotions in the peloton rather than go on the attack.

“These days no one has the ability to attack from afar,” he said. “Before, strategies were made and sometimes they worked, sometimes not. But now everyone is playing not to lose and I don’t like it.

“I am among those who [can] attack from far and sometimes I do well, but usually not.”

He added: “We [climbers] need to seek solitude and the attack is the moment that defines us. But now everyone is very measured…I cannot get carried away by emotion.”

When the 2015 Tour de France route was announced in October, Quintana’s name was thrown into the mix as the early favourite.

A lack of individual time trial miles and five summit finishes look to play into the Colombian’s hands, having finished second to Chris Froome in 2013.

But the 24-year-old Movistar rider, who was leading the this year’s Vuelta a España before crashing out on stage ten, insists it will not be a one-horse race, with the parcours likely to throw up a few surprises again.

“I am not the only contender, there is also [Alberto] Contador, Froome and [Vincenzo] Nibali,” he continued. “I like some things about the route and not others. I think the pavé [sections in stage sour] can do a lot of harm again like this year. Froome fell when he was the favourite for the race, then there were no fights or anything.

“Often the difficult roads endanger athletes, and it is an inhumane thing in a three-week race. If it is in a classic, like the Paris-Roubaix, nothing happens [afterwards], but it's the Tour.”

Source: El Pais

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