Nairo Quintana (Movistar), who lost the Giro d’Italia‘s pink jersey to Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) on the final day in Milan, reveals that he was sick with fever on stage 19, meaning he was unable to gain as much time as he hoped
Quintana gained 1-09 on Dumoulin on the stage to Piancavallo, but more would have helped him to defend his lead in the Milan time trial where he missed out on the overall win by 31 seconds.
“Maybe one of the worst days was Piancavallo,” said Quintana, who moved into the pink jersey that day.
“It was a day that we had marked on the calendar, and we were hoping to make big differences. But the health wasn’t with us, and it didn’t turn out as we had hoped, but we kept pressing, and we ended up with this podium.
“I had a bit of fever, I woke up feeling a little bad that morning, and I couldn’t give 100 per cent on that decisive day. You could say that [I lost the Giro that day].”
Watch: Giro d’Italia stage 21 highlights
Quintana became the first Colombian to win the Giro d’Italia in 2014 and finished twice second to Chris Froome (Team Sky) in the Tour de France. He began this 100th Giro as the favourite, but ultimately paid in the time trials, where he lost more than four minutes to Dumoulin
Quintana started the final 29.3-kilometre stage from Monza with a slim 53-second advantage, eventually finishing 1-24 behind Dumoulin on arrival at Milan’s famous Duomo.
“We worked hard, in a good way, but you can’t always get what you aim for in a bike race. Tom was very strong, and we are still on the podium, and that is still important,” Quintana added.
“I could have done better in the mountains, and we knew that we needed to take more time on him against the clock. It’s hard for me against a specialist like Tom. We did a great time trial today, and some even said yesterday that we could lose the podium. I was still thinking about winning the Giro, and to finish second, well, that’s not bad.”
Behind Quintana, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) finished third overall at 40 seconds, while Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) missed out in fourth.