Saturday, January 28, 2023

Nairo Quintana has no one to write to him but he does not retire

Nairo Quintana has no one to write to him. Yes he has offers of small teams of Colombia; squads that would allow him to attend the South American races and perhaps a third level test in Europe. But nothing more. Nobody is interested in taking him to the Tour, the Vuelta or the Giro despite being one of the best climbers of this century, flag-bearer of his country, winner of the red jersey and the pink ‘maglia’ and with three podiums on the Champs Elysees. Because in current cycling, that’s what the issue is about, whoever messes up, pays for it, regardless of the last name they carry.

Colombia had been speculating for days about the Announcement of Quintana’s withdrawal, one week away from turning 33. Documentaries had already been made and the date of January 25 was given as the day on which nairothe little runner from Boyacá, the town cyclist, was going to announce that he was leaving professional sports because nobody wants to hire him.

capital surprise

Well, the surprise was huge, in an act that could be followed live by half the world and which, in fact and basically, was a ceremony to publicize part of their business; the café-restaurant from where she gathered the journalists, like a cycling tour that she is promoting next month in Mexico. “I don’t have a team yet but I’m available“, was the best sentence of a long epitaph, written by the broker himself, read folios in hand (at least three and complete), which served to earn the room an ovation, because as was said in the presentation of the meeting with the press nairo He is “part of the Homeland” and in his country they want to continue seeing him on the “little steel horse”, as he defined Quintana to his bike, even if it is made of carbon.

It all starts with Tramadol, an opioid analgesic banned last year in competition although allowed in training but which this 2023 carries a sanction in cycling and from 2024 in all other sports. Quintana knew that he could not use it while he was on the Tour. He is easily identified at a checkpoint and if he was caught, which is what happened, he would lose the sixth place he got in Paris, which is what happened.

Unlike Superman

From here on, Arkéa, his French team, excludes him from the Vuelta because they run with one less cyclist and sees how all the doors of the main teams in Europe, the United States and Australia, who are the ones who count and move money for disputing the big rounds, small rounds and classics on the calendar, they close the doors. Some speak of omerta. But the truth is that current cycling raises the barriers for all those runners who have been minimally tolerant of drugs that they should not have taken.

Quintana He will travel to Europe, surely Andorra and will continue to call teams in which it is no longer useful to notify him of a substantial drop in salary because he has no one to write to him, unless he does something like Supermán López, fired from Astana after being involved in a anti-doping operation discovered by the Civil Guard, and he enrolls in a team from his country with the intention of running without increasing the bank’s checking account.

“I will continue until I resist because I am honest, and I have been in the 260 controls in which I have not had problems Since I am a professional I have respected the rules and fair play. I want to put on a number “. At the moment he can’t find it and the season has already started in Australia, Argentina and Mallorca.

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