Nairo Quintana says ban ketones, but not time trial bikes

Colombian star joins a growing chorus of riders who are coming out against the use of the controversial supplement.

Photo: James Startt/VeloNews

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Nairo Quintana joins a growing chorus of riders who are coming out against the use and application of ketones, but disagrees with recent comments from Chris Froome about the dangers of time trial bikes.

The Colombia star, speaking to Colombian media during a Zoom call, agreed with Arkéa-Samsic teammate Warren Barguil that the dietary supplements ketones should be added to the WADA banned list.

“For ketones, as many people call them, the more they ban them, the better for us,” Quintana said in a video posted on MARCA. “I agree with full body health and with everything that is natural, and that’s my opinion.”

The debate around the use and effectiveness of ketones continues to rattle across the peloton.

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Several top teams use them as part of their larger nutritional and recovery programs, but some say the expensive products, which can come in gel or powder form, should be on the list of banned products.

Some studies suggest they have negligible impact on performance, while others say the products give an unnatural boost to riders and teams who use them.

Quintana also disagreed with recent comments from four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome about the dangers of time trial bikes in the peloton.

In the wake of Egan Bernal’s devastating crash last month while training on a time trial bike, Froome came out with some surprising comments, even suggesting that time trial bikes have become too dangerous for use in training and even in racing.

“They cannot be prohibited or changed,” Quintana said of time trial bikes. “Finally, it’s the technology and that’s what’s happening. It would be like if Formula 1 cars were banned, but those [race] cars have their own roads for training and racing.”

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Quintana, who also said it was a “shame” that Arkéa-Samsic gave up its spot in the Giro d’Italia to race the Tour and Vuelta a España instead, said teams and riders need to be more cautious while riding the time trial bike.

“We must find safer routes and roads for training,” Quintana said. “Finally, each person decides where they train, and the ‘crono’ bike is a spectacle. There are time trial specialists who never win in the mountains or in the sprints, but they are very good at that discipline.

“So they cannot be banned,” he said. “Technology keeps advancing and we have to be more cautious.”

Bernal, meanwhile, continues steady progress on his recovery, though doctors and team officials are not putting a timeline on a possible return to training or racing.


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