Nairo Quintana, after placing second to Sky’s Chris Froome this year, plans to try to win the Tour de France in 2016, but Movistar’s captain will also focus on the Olympic Games road race in Rio de Janeiro.
After nearly pipping Froome to the overall win this July in the Tour, launching a series of attacks in the final Alpine stages, he wants to return for more next year.
“For sure, the Tour is going to get my full attention. I don’t have the full programme for the year, not at this point,” Quintana told Cycling Weekly.
“Beating Froome? It’s possible in the next year. I’m training to do it. I have a strong team and we are working on it, to attempt to win the Tour de France.”
Quintana raced the Vuelta a España also this year, but suffered due to a cold. After a short break in Colombia, he flew to Abu Dhabi where he will attend a UCI gala on Sunday with Froome and other stars.
After arriving on Saturday morning, he travelled with his team-mates to the start of stage three of the Abu Dhabi Tour. Under the 40°C heat, he spoke with them and with Colombian Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge). It must have been the magic touch because Chaves went on to win the stage and take the overall lead.
Quintana’s eyes, however, are already looking towards the 2016 season.
“I’ll do both Tour and the Olympics,” Quintana said. “I think that in another year I might try to make another attempt to win the Giro d’Italia. Next year, though, it’s not possible.”
Quintana almost upset Froome on his way to his second Tour title in Paris. No other cyclist came as close as the small Colombian.
He lost a crucial 1-28 minutes due to a crash and cross-winds in the second stage in The Netherlands. He fought back in Alps, attacked on the Alpe d’Huez to gain 1-26, but only moved within 1-12 of Froome.
Had it not been for the time loss on the second day, mathematically, Quintana would have been fighting for the yellow jersey that Froome took home.
“Those stages like stage two happen,” he said. “They are errors that you have to try to avoid to win the Tour.”
Froome stated earlier this month that he also plans to target the Tour/Olympics double, with the Brit looking to take home the gold medal in the time trial as well as the road race.