CAROLINA, Argentina (VN) — Nairo Quintana put on a climbing clinic at the Tour de San Luís Thursday, winning stage 4 after conquering the climb up Alto El Amago to cross the line at the summit alone, almost a minute ahead of the nearest finisher, Sergio Godoy of San Luís Somos Todos.
Quintana’s finishing salute was a “rocking the cradle” motion, a nod to the baby he and his girlfriend are expecting next month.
The Colombian also hopes that February will bring clarity to the question he’s been asked for months: will he return to the Tour de France in 2014, and attempt to better the amazing second-place finish he achieved in his Tour debut last year?
Thus far, Movistar team management has yet to provide Quintana with a clear answer.
The Colombian stood on the podium in Paris as a stage winner, the best young rider, the king of the mountains, and the second overall finisher, and he was immediately lauded as a future Tour winner.
The question, pundits claimed, is a matter of when he’ll win his first Tour, rather than if he’ll win a Tour.
However, Quintana may not return to the Tour this year; at the Tour de San Luís press conference on Saturday, he indicated that he might instead race the Giro d’Italia.
If Quintana does not race the Tour, Spaniard Alejandro Valverde would be the team’s dedicated GC rider in France.
The question came up again at his post-race press conference Thursday, and again Quintana was unable to answer.
“I am waiting to see what the decision is on the Giro or the Tour,” Quintana said. “As soon as I know I will let you all know.”
Pressed to explain why he doesn’t know, Quintana explained that it comes down to his team management’s interests.
“It’s the sponsors’ decision,” he said. “Some of them want me to go one place, some want me to go to another. I’m in between, and I’m going crazy.”