Nairo Quintana says he will focus on Tour de France after team misses out on Giro d'Italia wild card

The Colombian was hoping to have another go at winning a second Giro title in 2021

Nairo Quintana (Alain Jocard/AFP via Getty Images)
(Image credit: AFP via Getty Images)

Nairo Quintana has said that he will now focus on the Tour de France after his Arkéa-Samsic team missed out on a wild card spot at the Giro d'Italia.

Quintana was hoping that he could have the Giro as his main goal for the 2021 season after not riding the Corsa Rosa since 2017, where he came second behind an inspired Tom Dumoulin. 

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In a piece by Italian site Spaziociclismo, Quintana said: "I wanted to participate in the Giro, but I respect the organisers choice. I will now focus on the Tour.

"Our team is not part of the WorldTour and is therefore dependent on wild cards.

"However, the organisation has decided to hand them out to Italian teams. I want to thank everyone for their support and this is certainly not a mental blow. I keep believing in my dreams. I now focus on other big races, such as the Tour."

Quintana took his one and only Giro title back in 2014, while his last overall success at a Grand Tour was in the 2016 Vuelta a España. Since then it hasn't been going too well for the star climber.

Injuries and a breakdown between him and the rest of the Movistar Team saw him step down to the ProTeam level of the sport with Arkéa-Samsic.

Quintana was looking in fine form in 2020 taking the overall at the Tour de la Provence and the final stage of Paris-Nice before the coronavirus shutdown. He continued that form into the Tour de France, but a crash saw his hopes of a podium, and maybe even a win, slip away.

The teams that got in ahead of Arkéa-Samsic through the wild card slots were Eolo-Kometa, Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè and Vini Zabù with Mathieu van der Poel's Alpecin-Fenix getting an automatic invite after they beat Arkéa to the top spot in the ProTeam division last year.

The Giro is set to start on May 8 in the city of Turin and make its way around the region of Piedmont for it's Gran Partenza, before heading further around the country. The route is yet to be announced.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.