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Quintana: ‘I believe I can win the Tour’

The Colombian had an electrifying Tour de France debut this year, winning two jerseys and a stage in the mountains

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MADRID (VN) — Nairo Quintana (Movistar) was looking dapper in a tailor-fitted suit Wednesday as he met with reporters to discuss the future as the title sponsor assured the team’s future through 2016.

The 23-year-old Colombian was the center of attraction, and everyone wanted to know if and when he could win the Tour de France. After riding to second overall behind Chris Froome (Sky) in 2013, the future belongs to Quintana.

“Yes, I believe I can win the Tour. It’s my top goal,” Quintana told AS. “I don’t know if it will be in 2014, or 2015, or even later, but I believe I have the ability to win it. I hope this year’s course favors me, which means less time trials and more mountains.”

Quintana will find out next week when the Tour organization unveils its route for the 2014 edition in Paris on October 23.

It’s hard to say how the Tour will look, but after an exciting edition in 2013, it’s hard not to imagine the French tour following the trend and adding a lot of mountains.

That would only help Quintana, who won the king of the mountains jersey, a stage in the Alps, along with the best young rider classification en route to second overall, the best result by a Latin American in history.

“I know it will be difficult to top what I did in 2013,” Quintana continued. “I will keep working hard. The objective now is the podium in the grand tours. I know I am capable of achieving it, and I will be in the fight next year no matter what I do. On the other hand, I have to keep working on time trialing, adapt myself to the bike and the position.”

Quintana, along with Spanish veteran Alejandro Valverde, present the solid bases for Movistar, which ends the 2013 season on a high note, thanks to Beñat Intxausti’s overall victory at the Tour of Beijing.

That pushed Movistar atop the team rankings, in what’s a cherry on top for the team as title sponsor Telefónica commits three more seasons to back the Spanish squad.

For Quintana, the future is now, and he’s waiting to see how the Tour route looks like before finalizing his racing program for 2014.

He didn’t discount racing two grand tours, something he hasn’t done yet, but he hinted if he races two grand tours, it would be the Giro-Vuelta combo, or simply everything for the Tour.

If ASO delivers a climb-heavy Tour for 2014, it could be a dramatic showdown between Froome and Quintana.

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.