"Why should Nairo be Mas's domestique in the Tour?". This is not what we ask ourselves at CyclingUpToDate, it is asked by Mario Sabato, the cycling narrator for ESPN in Latin America. And he's not the first to ask it.
Since Nairo Quintana signed with Movistar Team, there have been many articles published in Colombia that question Enric Mas' leadership capacity in the Tour de France and ask that Nairo, despite the fact that in his presentation with the Spanish team he made it clear that he did not come to be leader, could be the visible head of the telephone team in the next Grande Boucle.
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What is clear is that the recent poor performances of Enric Mas in the Tour have caused the South American media to doubt his ability and to call for a more leading role for a Nairo who, it must be said, has said absolutely nothing in any media about being leader in 2024.
It should be remembered that Nairo finished sixth overall in the 2022 Tour de France, the last one he raced, although after the race he was disqualified by the UCI after testing positive twice for tramadol. That caused his renewal with Arkéa to be cancelled and in 2023 he has not been able to race. Movistar Team has given a second chance to a rider who seemed to have completely closed the doors of the WorldTour after his positive. We will see what he is able to do after a year out of racing.
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Article written by Juan Larra.