"We Colombians are really very supportive of each other" - Daniel Martinez recalls recieving key help from Nairo Quintana at Giro d'Italia

In the 17th stage of the Giro d'Italia 2024, with the finish at Passo Brocon, there was a detail that did not go unnoticed by Colombian cycling fans. Nairo Quintana, with all his goodwill, gave some gels to Daniel Martinez, who had run out of refreshments. An episode that the BORA - hansgrohe leader recounted in detail in a recent interview for the magazine "Semana".

The Movistar Team climber didn't have to do it because they don't ride for the same team but he saw his compatriot in difficulty and didn't hesitate to help him. In the end, Georg Steinhauser took the stage win from the breakaway, while Tadej Pogacar decided that day that he didn't want to win and that a second place 1:24 behind the German was fine. Martinez arrived in the group of podium challengers with Antonio Tiberi, Geraint Thomas, Einer Rubio and Romain Bardet, 18 seconds behind the Slovenian. And for his part, Quintana, after helping Rubio as much as he could and handing the gels to Martinez, finished in 14th position, arriving at the finish line with Filippo Zana, 2:27 behind the day's winner.

"The first thing that came to my mind was to think: we Colombians are really very supportive of each other. We met on the road and did not hesitate to help each other," Martinez recalls. "I remembered a similar episode and was filled with emotion. This time, it started to rain and I had a companion on the mountain to accompany me in case something happened, but he stayed down."

"The INEOS Grenadiers team was on the lookout, interested in leaving me behind and taking me out of the competition because I represented a risk for them. I was alone and all I could think about was: I hope nothing happens, that I don't get a puncture, especially on the downhills," the BORA - hansgrohe man continues. "They pushed the pace and I had no companions who could give me food or water. That's when Nairo arrived and gave me two energy gels, which allowed me to make it to the finish."

"I thanked him for what he gave me and really Nairo has been a witness of my whole process since I arrived in Europe, with Team Colombia," Martinez, who finished second overall at the Giro concludes. "He has seen me grow practically. In competitions we talked and shared experiences, so I am very grateful and happy to have participated in the Giro d'Italia."

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