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Quintana to Ride Giro d’Italia in 2014

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AFP / Yuzuru Sunada

Colombian climbing specialist Nairo Quintana will ride the Giro d’Italia rather than the Tour de France later this year, his Movistar team said Tuesday. The 23-year-old was the revelation of last year’s Tour, finishing second overall to Chris Froome while winning both the polka-dot king of the mountains jersey and the best young rider’s white jersey. He was officially supposed to be riding for teammate Alejandro Valverde but the Spaniard suffered one awful stage that put him out of contention, leaving Quintana to ride for himself and for the overall classification. Valverde will be team leader again for July’s Tour while leadership honors will fall to Quintana at May’s Giro.

“Personally, I don’t think it’s a good idea at his age to bring Nairo to the Tour with the pressure to do better than last year,” said Movistar general manager Eusebio Unzue in a statement.

Valverde and Quintana, who on Sunday completed victory in the Tour of San Luis in Argentina, will then share leadership duties at the Tour of Spain, which begins in August.