"We were always there fighting and we have done a great Giro d'Italia" - Nairo Quintana reflects on his return to Grand Tour racing

Riding his first Grand Tour in nearly two years, there were plenty of positive signs for Nairo Quintana at the 2024 Giro d'Italia as he hunted stage wins, coming closest on stage 15 when only Tadej Pogacar was able deny the Colombian.

“It is exciting and joyful to finish a three-week race. I think I will now have completed 18, few have done it and we have completed 18. The experience that it leaves you runs throughout life and sporting years," Quintana reflects in quotes collected by Ciclismo Internacional. "Seeing how the condition grew but at the same time helping the team to grow as well, and today we finished with a good level, with a stage victory for the team, with a man in the top ten overall, three times second. Pelayo Sanchez and me, we were always there fighting, and we have done a great Giro d'Italia but above all finished with a great condition."

Indeed the signs were overwhelmingly positive for Movistar Team during the 2024 Giro d'Italia. As mentioned by Quintana, aside from his much anticipated return, the stage win of Sanchez and a top-10 in the general classification through Einer Rubio were all good things to take from the opening Grand Tour of the year. "This Giro was special because, after nobody believed and nobody gave a peso, the bravery that helped us to push forward means that today we are here again, completing a big three-week race at a good level," Quintana continues.

"It is really very exciting, because from here new things start, new projects and I want to live them, I want to enjoy them and I want to continue doing very important things," adds the former Maglia Rosa winner. "I always thought I could, but to think about it in reality is a distance or something that you can neither feel nor predict. It's just being here today and having the feeling that I thought it was possible, and today it is a palpable reality that you can, in fact, even smell, it's very exciting."

"I thank everyone for their messages of support, the critics too because they made me stand up with more courage to show that I was not what they thought," Quintana concludes. "Thanks to the fans, to my wife Paola, to all my work team in Colombia, to Fernando López, to my brother and to all my friends who have helped me to work from very early until very late and to be able to continue riding."

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