Giro d’Italia 2014: Viva Colombia – why this year’s Corsa Rosa belongs to the men from Latin America

Nairo Quintana leads the way as countrymen take charge in Italy

Pre-race favourite Nairo Quintana may have been among the favourites to win the Giro d’Italia but the fighting spirit he has shown to earn the maglia rosa has shown experience and resilience beyond his 24 years of age. The Movistar man has battled illness and had a big deficit to overcome with just one week remaining at this year’s race. But the Colombian sensation did that and then some on an enthralling – and highly controversial – stage 16.

Nairo Quintana could become the first Colombian to win the Giro d’Italia (pic: Sirotti)

Should he have attacked on the descent of the Stelvio? The facts surrounding the much-discussed neutralisation that never was may never be clear but Quintana’s team-mate Gorka Izaguirre revealed the Colombian was on the brink of climbing off his bike and giving up when the ascended the Passo Gavia. To come back and not only finish the stage, but win it with a climbing masterclass that did full justice to the reputation of his forebears showed that, should he keep the pink jersey and become the first Colombian to win the Giro d’Italia, it will be fully deserved.

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