Quin­tana dis­tances him­self from father’s crit­i­cism

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Tour de France hope­ful Nairo Quin­tana sprung to the de­fence of his Movistar team yes­ter­day af­ter his father had blasted the Span­ish out­fit in the Colom­bian press. This has been a Tour to for­get for Quin­tana and Movistar, right since the open­ing stage.

Ale­jan­dro Valverde, who was third over­all two years ago, crashed out in the stage one time-trial and suf­fered a bro­ken kneecap. Since then, Quin­tana has been far from his bril­liant best, los­ing al­most four min­utes to his yel­low jersey ri­vals on Sun­day when he dropped to 11th and more than six min­utes off the pace of leader Chris Froome. He is pay­ing for hav­ing rid­den in May’s Giro d’Italia, where he fin­ished sec­ond, and has com­plained of tired­ness dur­ing the Tour. That led to his father telling a Colom­bian ra­dio sta­tion that Movistar are flog­ging his son and com­pro­mis­ing his Tour chances. “I haven’t spo­ken to my father for a few days. He has his opin­ion, what peo­ple tell him,” said Quin­tana.

“He’s get­ting drunk on the peo­ple’s praise, for his words, for his frus­tra­tions, in one way or an­other, by all Colom­bians.” But Quin­tana said this is only hap­pen­ing be­cause the Tour is go­ing badly. “When you’re in front and win­ning, no-one says any­thing and ev­ery­thing’s per­fect.

“His words were of anger, in the mo­ment. I don’t think you should take much no­tice of them, and I don’t share them.” Luis Quin­tana had com­plained that his son shouldn’t have raced at the Giro when his main aim is the Tour de France.

It is widely con­sid­ered that there is not enough time to re­cover from the ex­er­tions of rid­ing the Giro in May be­fore the Tour in July. “Colom­bians are protest­ing be­cause of what they (Movistar) are ask­ing Nairo to do,” Luis Quin­tana had told Ra­dio Cara­col on Thurs­day. “He shouldn’t have rid­den the Giro if they were tak­ing him to the Tour.” Last year, Quin­tana fin­ished third at the Tour be­fore go­ing on to win the Vuelta a Es­pana in Septem­ber.

It led Movistar to be­lieve he was stronger in his sec­ond Grand Tour of the year than his first, so they de­cided to try the Giro-Tour dou­ble this year. How­ever, Quin­tana has strug­gled sev­eral times in the moun­tains, de­spite fin­ish­ing sec­ond on Fri­day’s Pyre­nean stage, and has ad­mit­ted that it was a mis­take. — AFP

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