Nairo Quintana discussion thread

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Maybe he went too deep too young? Quintana won the Tour de l'Avenir at 20, rode it again at 21, then raced the Vuelta at 22 where he was Valverde's main domestique, climbing with the GC contenders on every mountain stage. Then it was straight into riding for GC at every major stage race he started in 2013.

I've heard a few people suggest that the majority of riders have a shelf life at the very top of the sport, and I'm starting to come around to that conclusion.
 
Maybe he went too deep too young? Quintana won the Tour de l'Avenir at 20, rode it again at 21, then raced the Vuelta at 22 where he was Valverde's main domestique, climbing with the GC contenders on every mountain stage. Then it was straight into riding for GC at every major stage race he started in 2013.

I've heard a few people suggest that the majority of riders have a shelf life at the very top of the sport, and I'm starting to come around to that conclusion.
I'd thought it was more an age thing, however a shelf life may be more accurate. It may also have to do with the age of when they hit their peak or ceiling. It does feel that riders who hit that at a younger age decline faster than those who hit it at a little older age.
 
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I keep thinking of stage 15 of the 2016 Vuelta. OK, that was Contador's instigation, but Nairo was right there, too, taking turns at the front with hair on fire. One of my favorite stages, ever. For whatever reason, Quintana doesn't quite have the strength that he carried just a few years ago, and yet he is still only 29. One hopes he might rediscover that lightning in a bottle at some point in the next year or so, even if the passing of time seems to indicate otherwise.
He says he's 29, but he looks like he's about 50. Maybe he is actually 50, which is why he's declining!?
Perhaps Valverde will start to decline too when he reaches Quintana's age...?
 
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He's still a world class rider who you wouldn't bet against winning any given tough mountain stage, but he's clearly lost the ability to recover from big efforts and go again the next day....which effectively rules him out as a genuine GC contender. I guess that's the typical age related decline we're used to seeing....
 
He says he's 29, but he looks like he's about 50. Maybe he is actually 50, which is why he's declining!?
Perhaps Valverde will start to decline too when he reaches Quintana's age...?
This has been suggested several times, that he's actually a few years older.

We've seen Latin American baseball players lie about their age, adjusting it downward a few years because US scouts are looking for younger prospects.

I don't think there's any evidence that he has fudged his birthdate, but only he and his family know for sure. Regardless, he's had an 8-year run where he's been a podium contender in every GT he's entered - even if at the end his recent results have been mid top 10 - not sure how many other of his contemporaries you could say that about, maybe Froome and Nibali only?
 
Dec 21, 2015
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This has been suggested several times, that he's actually a few years older.

We've seen Latin American baseball players lie about their age, adjusting it downward a few years because US scouts are looking for younger prospects.

I don't think there's any evidence that he has fudged his birthdate, but only he and his family know for sure. Regardless, he's had an 8-year run where he's been a podium contender in every GT he's entered - even if at the end his recent results have been mid top 10 - not sure how many other of his contemporaries you could say that about, maybe Froome and Nibali only?
I was joking, of course :) There's no reason to believe he's not 29.

I do wonder though, if we sometimes forget how difficult it is to win a GT - to perform day after day, week after week; avoiding illness, crashes & bad luck; to time your peak of form to perfection (very much an artform rather than a science), to stay motivated year after year...riders like Froome, and before him Armstrong, Indurain, Hinault etc give the impression that it's easy, but of course it's not. It's much easier to lose a bike race than to win it, and whilst Quintana has perhaps not racked up the number of GT results we may have expected given his talent and the way he burst onto the scene in 2013, he's clearly still an exceptional GT rider...
 
Perhaps most athletes have an age window where they'll perform at their best (in GTs), irrespective of their age (to a certain extent). After that, they'll decline. Some will keep their recovery ability and lose something else, like Nibali.
Not really my field, but it wouldn't surprise me if Quintana has lost his mojo due to both the time he has been at the top and a different kind of training or whatever.
Likewise, it wouldn't surprise me seeing a last Hurrah from him on a GT, perhaps the Giro, with Arkea.
 
This has been suggested several times, that he's actually a few years older.

We've seen Latin American baseball players lie about their age, adjusting it downward a few years because US scouts are looking for younger prospects.

I don't think there's any evidence that he has fudged his birthdate, but only he and his family know for sure. Regardless, he's had an 8-year run where he's been a podium contender in every GT he's entered - even if at the end his recent results have been mid top 10 - not sure how many other of his contemporaries you could say that about, maybe Froome and Nibali only?
LOL. Just to be clear, this has been suggested only by other forum posters, often as a joke. Which is obviously more than fine (by me, at least, FWIW).

The only somewhat annoying thing about those jokes is that at times they seem to be followed up on by people who may actually be so ignorant as to believe that there is anything to them.
 
Maybe he went too deep too young? Quintana won the Tour de l'Avenir at 20, rode it again at 21, then raced the Vuelta at 22 where he was Valverde's main domestique, climbing with the GC contenders on every mountain stage. Then it was straight into riding for GC at every major stage race he started in 2013.

I've heard a few people suggest that the majority of riders have a shelf life at the very top of the sport, and I'm starting to come around to that conclusion.
Agree fully. Furthermore, he has done two GT-s in a season every year since 2014, always going for the GC, never just doing them as a preparation for other goals down the line. Vuelta 2014 was the only one which he didn't complete due to the crash and 2014 was also the last year he didn't do two GT-s back-to-back. Since then it has been 4 Tour-Vuelta's and 1 Giro-Tour, including 4 consecutive GT-s from Tour 2016 to Tour 2017. In addition to that numerous shorter stage races every year, where too he has mostly gone for the GC, not just riding them through as preparation.

That is an enormous load of racing and of currently active riders probably only Froome can be compared to him on that front. And Froome clearly changed his approach to early season stage races when he focused on doing GT doubles year in - year out. No wonder then, that Nairo's shelf life at the top may be gradually coming to an end.
 
This Quintana won't do squad, or keep doing the same as this year, if he does not change his program at Arkea. Just because is the Giro and not the Tour does not mean he has any better chance. Giro is hard.
Until then we have to wait what happens. I am sure Arkea is hoping for a better Quintana.

This Quintana looks heavy and out of form constantly. And he is still top 10 in every GT he participates. He is still so talented. But clock is ticking. We'll see what happens at Arkea next year.
 
A 4th place in a GT farewell is quite a great result - He got his stage win, was part of the overall contention, animated the race & ultimately made the best of it- given the fact that he's departing!! Folks here have been extremely harsh on him, despite the fact that his Palmares is quite impressive!!

Looking forward to what he can achieve at Arkea,
 
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This has been suggested several times, that he's actually a few years older.

We've seen Latin American baseball players lie about their age, adjusting it downward a few years because US scouts are looking for younger prospects.

I don't think there's any evidence that he has fudged his birthdate, but only he and his family know for sure. Regardless, he's had an 8-year run where he's been a podium contender in every GT he's entered - even if at the end his recent results have been mid top 10 - not sure how many other of his contemporaries you could say that about, maybe Froome and Nibali only?
That's what I was thinking recently: that he may be a few years older. When he was on the Tour podium at the age of 23 he already looked way older. It seems that Nairo has been declining for 2 years (which is typical at an older age). But we'll never know for sure. As for his high-level period, he's been a GT podium candidate for 7 years (not 8) including 5 years of prime period (2013-2017).
 
This Quintana won't do squad, or keep doing the same as this year, if he does not change his program at Arkea. Just because is the Giro and not the Tour does not mean he has any better chance. Giro is hard.
Until then we have to wait what happens. I am sure Arkea is hoping for a better Quintana.

This Quintana looks heavy and out of form constantly. And he is still top 10 in every GT he participates. He is still so talented. But clock is ticking. We'll see what happens at Arkea next year.
I don't think he looks heavy or really out of form. It just looks like he's lost about 5% of his engine, so at the end of a stage, which basically means that he can make it to the final selection on an MTF but will gradually go backward. His TT'ing is also down. And, if he does have a great day, he's inevitably flat on the following stage. I don't think that's something he'll be able to get back.

But, even a diminished Nairo is a top 5-10 GT talent, so for Arkea that's basically a win right there. Even if he finishes, say, 8th at the TdF or even 5th at the Giro, that's a better result than Barguil will get them.
 
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Aug 30, 2019
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And another day in which Quintana did not move a foot for the team and just tried to get something for himself at the very end.
Excellent Movistar tactics one more.
Really increadible to think about winning big, then lose the 3rd position.
Jumbo knew he had just one leader, posibly the strongest rider in the bunch, and went for it.
So happy for Pogacar.
 
And another day in which Quintana did not move a foot for the team and just tried to get something for himself at the very end.
Excellent Movistar tactics one more.
Really increadible to think about winning big, then lose the 3rd position.
Jumbo knew he had just one leader, posibly the strongest rider in the bunch, and went for it.
So happy for Pogacar.
In this case it was clear that what was best for Quintana was also best for the team, though.
 
Aug 30, 2019
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In this case it was clear that what was best for Quintana was also best for the team, though.
Valverde got into action when he saw his position in danger and Quintana not even so.
Some of their teammates helped a little, but Quintana did nothing neither for himself, not for Valverde.
 
And another day in which Quintana did not move a foot for the team and just tried to get something for himself at the very end.
Excellent Movistar tactics one more.
Really increadible to think about winning big, then lose the 3rd position.
Jumbo knew he had just one leader, posibly the strongest rider in the bunch, and went for it.
So happy for Pogacar.
Nobody had anything left. They all looked dead bar Pogacar. No need to come here to trash Quintana again. In fact Valverde had to defend his second place at the end on his own because nobody had anything left.
 
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