Nairo Quintana says Tour de la Provence victory heralds a ‘new era’ for Arkéa-Samsic

The Colombian claimed his first stage race since 2017

(Image credit: Imago/PA Images)

Nairo Quintana has heralded a “new era” for Arkéa-Samsic as he has won his first stage race since 2017.

The Colombian star put an end to his general classification drought in the Tour de la Provence last week, where he secured overall victory with a storming performance on Mont Ventoux.

Quintana made a significant change during the off-season, as he left Movistar after eight years to join UCI ProTeam Arkéa-Samsic.

After taking victory in France by more than a minute over Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana), the 30-year-old said: “It is a great joy to win the general classification of the Tour de la Provence, this is what I wanted as well as all my Arkéa-Samsic team-mates who were still dazzling today.

“We have worked hard to obtain this performance and the fact of having achieved it opens a new era for the entire Arkéa-Samsic team.”

Quintana emerged as the frontrunner in Provence during stage three, which featured a shortened ascent of the famous Mont Ventoux climb.

He stormed into the lead with stage victory, finishing 1-28 ahead of his nearest rival Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) at the line.

The victory his Quintana’s first overall title since the 2017 Tirreno-Adriatico, as he has struggled to reach former heights in the last few seasons.

After winning the Giro d’Italia in 2014 and the Vuelta a España in 2016, Quintana has turned his attention to the Tour de France but has not managed to repeat his former glories, finishing 12th, 10th and eighth in the last three editions.

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He said: “I am in good shape and on the next races on which I will line up, I can hope for good things.

“My first two victories of the season here in France are gifts for all cycling fans and all French supporters who follow me, and who support the Arkéa-Samsic team.

“It gives me strength and encouragement.”

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.