Quintana: Organisers think more about the spectacle than the cyclist


Nairo Quintana hopes cycling's organisers will begin to put the wellbeing of athletes first when plotting the routes of major races.

The Colombian criticised aspects of this year's Tour de France, particularly stage 11, when high winds conspired to make a relatively simple leg of the prestigious Grand Tour event considerably more challenging than expected. 

And the Movistar rider, who won the Vuelta a Espana in September, reiterated his belief that administrators must temper what he considers to be a tendency to prioritise entertainment over safety.

"Sometimes race [organisers] think more about the spectacle than the cyclist, but we cannot do much [to change that]," he told Omnisport.

"It's been working like that for many years so, in order to guarantee this kind of spectacle, we have to do these kind of [demanding] efforts. We have to accept that. 

"We hope everything will change and the [organisers will] put their hand on heart and think about the sportsmen. We hope for change."

Quintana was unable to prevent Chris Froome from retaining his Tour crown, but the 26-year-old did gain the upper hand in Spain two months later, beating the Team Sky star as well as compatriot Esteban Chaves and home favourite Alberto Contador. 

"We already knew there was a difficult [challenge] to beat Froome but at the end we found the way and the scenario to perform that [feat]," he said.

"Everything went as planned and we [were able to] win.

"Maybe La Vuelta is not as important as [the] Tour or [the] Giro [d'Italia] for other teams. [But] it's very important for us because we are a Spanish team with Spanish sponsor.

"I remember my La Vuelta triumph with fondness. It's a memory I will be proud of forever. It's a satisfaction to remember it."