Nairo Quintana says Movistar have already told him the Tour de France will be his main goal for 2019. The Colombian has endured a frustrating year, failing to threaten in both the Tour and Vuelta a Espana, with questions being asked of team boss Eusebio Unzue and his decision to often select Quintana, Alejandro Valverde and Mikel Landa as a trio, rather than separate them.
Unzue’s gamble rarely paid off with all the 28-year-old having to show for his Grand Tour campaign being a victory on Stage 17 of the Tour.
Having not finished on the podium in his last three Grand Tours’, the pressure is on ‘El Condor de los Andes’ to start producing again.
However, he will have been buoyed by Thursday’s route announcement for the Grande Boucle, which features a record 30 mountain passes and seems to play to his strengths.
Quintana says he is already excited for the 2019 campaign, with a realistic challenge for the Yellow Jersey his biggest target.
“There are various things, and we clearly did something wrong not to be in good shape,” Quintana explained. “Next year we’ll try and do it better, and it’s clear that I’ll be doing the Tour de France again, that is what Eusebio Unzue has told me will happen. So I want to get to work again.
“We need to look at what we did in the past, when I got onto the podium in the Tour, and more or less repeat that strategy. That’s the idea for 2019.”