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by Shane Stokes
June 28, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Contador domestique André Cardoso tests positive for EPO, kicked off Tour squad; Cardoso ‘devastated’ by test result, insists upon his innocence; Movistar coach says that Quintana is at his best level yet; Gilbert, Kittel and Martin give three-pronged approach to QuickStep Floors’ Tour de France team; Belgian media claims QuickStep team set to continue for four more years, Lefevere says deal not done; Moolman-Pasio leads Cervélo-Bigla lineup in Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile; Cromwell amongst ambitious Canyon/SRAM riders heading into Giro Rosa; Orica-Scott vying for overall victory in Giro Rosa; Talansky using brain stimulator to reach optimum Tour de France shape; American rider Casey Saunders dies in Tour of Kansas City crash; Mexican rider tests positive for EPO at Gran Fondo New York; Video: Cycling Motivation – “Euphoria”; Video: New Zealand’s U23 world MTB XC champion Sam Gaze; Video: Skoda Cycling – I Want to Ride My Bicycle
Although many expect that Nairo Quintana may not be at his best in the Tour de France as a result of trying to win the Giro d’Italia, the rider’s team coach suggests that this might not be the case.
Movistar trainer Mikel Zabala has said that he has come out of the Giro d’Italia well and is actually in better condition that he has been before. “At the moment he’s had his best power numbers and his motivation is high,” he told VeloNews, confirming that his figures are better than before last year’s Tour.
“We think this year should be better for him looking at his numbers, but you have to consider how the others perform. Maybe the Tour wasn’t his best but in training beforehand last year, he showed his best values yet. These numbers that I’m seeing now are a bit better. We are talking about some watts higher, but in the end, those watts make a big difference.”
The last rider to successfully complete the Giro/Tour double was Marco Pantani, way back in 1998. Several riders have tried since then, riding both events at a high level in the same year, but on each occasion they have wilted in the Tour. Alberto Contador and Cadel Evans are two examples.
Quintana finished second to Tom Dumoulin in the Giro and has avoided racing since then in order to give himself the best chance of bucking this trend. He has been previewing Tour stages and also training around his base in Monaco. Zabala is encouraged by the numbers, particularly his power to weight, but also knows that this doesn’t give the complete picture. “You can be the world champion on a climb, on the Madone, but that’s one thing. You have look at the big picture, 21 days.”
Click through to read the full story on VeloNews.