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After months of rumors, Nairo Quintana’s 2020 transfer to Arkéa-Samsic is finally official.
The French Pro Continental squad announced Monday that it had signed the 29-year-old Colombian – who has ridden with Movistar since 2012 – to a three-year contract.
“Team Arkea Samsic has been improving year after year. I have been following their development, I got interested in their project and most of all I like their ideology,” Quintana said in the team’s announcement of the deal. “I think it’s a team in which human values are important, essential, even. I was looking for a team in which I was going to be happy. I think it’s the key to fully blossom professionally.”
Quintana, the current overall leader at the Vuelta a España, has been a consistent contender in the Grand Tours since a breakthrough 2013 season in which he rode to runner-up honors at the Tour de France. He counts two Grand Tour overall victories on his career palmares, at the 2014 Giro d’Italia and the 2016 Vuelta a España, along with multiple stage wins in each of the three Grand Tours and numerous overall top 10s.
His last Grand Tour GC podium, however, came at the 2017 Giro, and his recent Tour campaigns have not quite matched the success expected in his early years. He has often been featured as one of multiple leaders in Movistar’s Grand Tour lineups, an approach that has not always led to the best of results.
At Arkéa-Samsic, he immediately becomes the team’s most accomplished stage racer, although the squad also has Warren Barguil, who has twice finished in the top 10 at the Tour de France and won the 2017 king of the mountains title.
In addition to making the Quintana signing official, Arkéa-Samsic also announced the signing of his brother Dayer Quintana to a three-year deal as well as the signings of Movistar’s Winner Anacona and Ineos’s Diego Rosa to two-year deals. With those new additions, Arkéa-Samsic hopes to be competitive in the three-week races.
“On paper, our 28-man team will have nothing to fear against the best teams of the World Tour,” said the team’s general manager Emmanuel Hubert. “Our goal is to win a grand tour within three seasons.”