Arkéa Samsic manager: "The Quintana page is turned"

Nairo Quintana is not staying at Arkéa Samsic and Arkéa Samsic have effectively distanced themselves from the Colombian despite their ongoing contract being valid until the end of 2022.

“It was a big blow to the head...I asked him for an explanation. I was very upset and assured that he had taken nothing," team manager Emmanuel Hubert told La Télégramme. "Since then, he has defended himself before CAS, and he has the right to the presumption of innocence. Now it’s his problem. We’re no longer contractually bound. The Quintana page is turned."

Quintana and Arkéa had agreen on a new three-year deal earlier this summer, but following the Colombian's positive cases from tramadol, he has not raced for the French team - in which he was crucial to achieve promotion - ever again. Quintana and his team of lawyers have appealed over the case, but it is still ongoing with no decision to be taken in the very near future, something which would be key for Quintana's future as he currently has no contract for the 2023 season.

“The Arkéa-Samsic team holds its ticket for the WorldTour," Hubert brought up however, focusing on the team's future, one that looks bright as they will enter the World Tour in 2023. "Sportingly, we are eligible and financially too. We must now meet the administrative and organizational specifications of the first division. It’s still a lot of work, Arkéa-Samsic has 102 employees. But I am confident. The licenses should be issued around December 10.”

He revealed the team had contacted and seeked to hunt down a new GC contender, with Romain Bardet and Guillaume Martin as priorities, however both chose to remain at their current teams. The team did manage to sign Carlos Rodríguez recently, however for a World Tour calendar it will be difficult for the Spaniard to cover the results Quintana had obtained.

“The future now belongs to the riders we have trained, we make way for the new generation," Hubert concluded. The likes of Warren Barguil and Hugo Hofstetter will continue to lead the team, which will have an ever sharper focus on the classics calendar, with France and Belgium as their main bread-maker.

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