Colombian cyclist Nairo Quintana was the sensation of 2012. After three years making his way in the professional ranks, he won the first stage of the Vuelta a Murcia as well as taking first place overall in the general classification. He went on to take victory in the sixth stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné before rounding his season off with a win at the Giro dell’Emilia.
His results improved still further in 2013. He first won a stage at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, and then finished first in both the general and points classification of the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco. However, this was just a prelude to his incredible performance in his maiden Tour de France, where he won the penultimate stage on his way to second place overall and victories in both the polka dot and white jersey competitions.
Born in humble surroundings on 4th February 1990 in Cómbita, Boyacá, Nairo has come a long way since his parents saved up enough money to buy a second-hand mountain bike to allow him to make his nine-mile journey to school. As a youngster he cycled with his younger brother Dayer, who will join him on the Movistar team for 2014.
With his light physique – his height is 1.66m and he weighs 57kg – his biggest strength is undoubtedly climbing. Despite his relative youth and his inexperience competing against the world’s elite, his adaptation to the World Tour has been striking, and he will be hopeful of winning one of the Grand Tours very soon