Saturday, July 6, 2013

My Man For The Tour

Why Nairo Quintana is my pick for the tour
Nairo Quintana leads a charge in the tour of the Basque country. Picture courtesy of

In case my readers were wondering, I have been watching the Tour De France, despite my busy schedule (as well as picking up on my real cycling on the bike).  Stage 8 of today's race really excited me. It wasn't because of Chris Froome winning the stage and taking the overall lead; sports commentators had predicted this moment would come all along. In fact, the whole year Chris Froome has been talked up by the media to become the favorite to win the tour. What excited me the most was how Nairo Quintana attacked at the Col de Pailhères and held back the peloton until the last 3 miles of the race. Nairo's attack was reminiscent of the great Colombian climber Lucho Herrera and how he would destroy the peloton once the road started going uphill. 

The 1980's saw the dominance of Colombian talent with the Cafe De Colombia and Postobon cycling teams making headlines throughout the decade. They were the underdogs of cycling, sons of farmers that had been recruited from high up in the Colombian mountains to become some of the greatest climbers the sport has ever seen. Nicknamed the Escarabajos, Colombian cyclists were known as fast ascenders that triumphed over rocky, mountainous terrain. Yet on other types of terrain, like flats and descents they were not as dominant, due to their diminutive physiques. With the elimination of doping programs which allowed otherwise untalented athletes to become great climbers (insert Lance Armstrong's name here), Colombian cycling is enjoying a modern day renaissance, and no one at this time embodies this movement better than Nairo Quintana.

Lucho Herrera was the dominant cyclist of the 1980's. Picture courtesy of Rapha.

Nairo Quintana joins an ever growing list of Colombian superstars and are taking the cycling scene by storm this year. Other Colombian favorites include Rigoberto Uran, Javier Acevedo, Carlos Betancur and the list goes on and on. My favorite for the tour is Quintana. He is one of the best climbers and underrated riders in the peloton. He is also a very humble character and all around good guy that I can relate to. So watch out Chris Froome, this year's tour is a hilly one, one that Nairo Quintana can and will capitalize on. If Chris Froome can come out of nowhere and get so many palmares, so can Nairo Quintana, with even more reason. Nairo's professional career has just begun, as opposed to Froome's, who is at the late bloom of his own career. If I were a betting man (which I'm not) my money would be on Nairo Quintana for the tour de France victory, or at the very least the king of the mountains jersey. Quintana is the rider to watch out for, one that is sure to turn heads at the tour this year and surprise the unsuspecting media.

On a side note, I wanted to comment on how Lance Armstrong recently claimed that it is impossible to win the tour the France without doping. I was going to write an article about this, then came to the realization that this guy doesn't deserve a full page spread on the stupid blunder he made. All I will say is that he should have instead apologized for his shameful actions and wish that others would not copy his bad example. Instead he shows the world the washed up, old guy has-been, armchair class act without any decency that he is. My dream is to one day find Lance Armstrong on one of my bike rides, pass on front of him and rip up a huge, nasty fart in his face, as a show of the gratitude I have for him. If it didn't have a nagging mouth, one would confuse Armstrong for gutter trash lying on the side of the road. With those unrepentant words Lance is showing himself deserving of every lawsuit that has come his way.  I'm sorry if I am being harsh, but these are the nicest words I can use to describe Lance Armstrong at this time. This is not the image I once had of him, but this is what he has become. Sorry Lance, you're no one's hero anymore.

Whaah!...loser. Picture courtesy of the

Stay tuned for more news and updates from a Bicycle's Point of View.

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