Quintana: “Contador is the big favourite in Vuelta”

Nairo Quintana goes into the Vuelta looking to make amends for an underwhelming Tour de France in which he finished third but performed well below his best. He didn’t make the trip to the Olympics so has had four weeks to re-group and fine-tune his form for the Vuelta. 

“The terrain in this year’s race really suits Alberto, it’s got good time trials for him,” Quintana said, referring to stage 19’s individual time trial. “In a way, he’s rested up after the Tour, too and he’ll be extremely motivated, For me, he’s the big favourite.”

“I’ve been taking it fairly calmly after the Tour, at home and a little bit at altitude. I’m back now and will make a big objective out of the Vuelta. I’ve done a lot of races this season, the Tour was very tough. I’m in good shape, but we’ll have to wait and see how I’m going to perform.”

“I’m not really sure what my form is like. I’ve not raced since the Tour and whatever tiredness you have, at this point in the year, it’s going to show.”

“We’ve got a good squad, good riders for the flatter stages and together with Alejandro (Valverde) we’ll be strong in the mountains,” the Colombian said. “I get on well with Alejandro and each one of us knows what we’ve got to do. But we won’t settle on an overall strategy until we see what kind of condition our rivals are here in the Vuelta. Then we’ll take it from there.”