Two weeks out from the start of the 108th edition of the Tour de France, Arkéa-Samsic pro Nairo Quintana is heading home to Colombia and will use his namesake Gran Fondo Nairo on 13 June to put the finishing touches on his training for this year’s Tour.
The hugely popular amateur event in Villa de Leyva expects over 3000 cyclists to participate and ride alongside one of their country’s most celebrated athletes on a 130 kilometre route with 2810 metres of climbing – Quintana’s specialty.
Gran Fondo Nairo was originally scheduled 29 November 2020, then rescheduled to 24 January 2021 before being rescheduled again to 13 June. The first two dates were during the off-season and posed no racing/training conflicts.
Holding the event on 13 June, right before the biggest race of the year, is questionable since it requires Quintana taking two 12 hour transatlantic flights.
Not everyone is convinced this is the right preparation for Le Tour.
Arkéa-Samsic Sports Director Yvon Ledanois pointed out, after Quintana finished 18th last week at the Critérium del Dauphiné, that he is disappointed with Quintana and did not mince words, “We are bad,” he said.
Adding, “Physically we do not have the ability to win a stage. We are bad. I have no more things to add because everyone, in my opinion, is aware of their level. If everyone is honest with themselves, they should know what remains to be done.”
If Quintana has another poor showing at the Tour de France like the last four years, he might end up with a lot time to ride gran fondos… 😉
PHOTOS: Arkéa-Samsic, Gran Fondo Nairo