After a dramatic 2016 Giro d’Italia that saw our man, Vincenzo Nibali, claim an amazing victory on the last few days of the race, it’s now the turn of the year’s second grand tour, Le Tour de France. For the next three weeks we’ll be keeping up with the fortunes of the 198 riders in 22 teams who start the race in Mont-Saint-Michel today. Along with the closing stages of Euro 2016 (Italy still in with a shout of a semi-final place at the moment and Wales going for a place in the final) and the second week of Wimbledon (come on Andy), we’ll be hard pressed to find time to take any exercise other than the armchair variety!
Anyway, back to the cycling. If you’re wondering who we’re supporting this year, you need look no further than our blog title and photo. For once, all the top guys are there. Yes, we’d love Nibali to do the double but, after his efforts winning the Giro, it’s unlikely and his team’s main man for Le Tour is Fabio Aru. And we do like to watch Alberto Contador climb but our choice this year is Nairo Quintana, the Colombian, who rides for the Movistar team. We were lucky enough to cycle in Colombia in 2015 and given some the hills we climbed, it’s no surprise that Nairo Quintana loves going uphill! It’s the perfect place to train and the country is cycling mad. He won the Giro d’Italia in 2014 and finished second in the 2013 and 2015 editions of the Tour de France. He might not be the favourite, as Team Sky’s Chris Froome has claimed that title, but he’s among the top contenders this year.
So, here’s hoping it’s the year of the underdog. ¡Vamos Nairo!