After Bernal, Quintana, Lopez glory years, Colombian cycling hits hard times

  • In Sports
  • 2023-01-27 03:04:16Z
  • By AFP

A decade ago when the whippet-like Nairo Quintana burst onto the scene with stunning mountain escapes, Colombian cyclists looked poised to take over the world.

But now, the country is in shock as three of its biggest stars flounder for very different reasons.

At 32, Quintana is still Colombia's most popular "beetle" -- as its cyclists are known collectively -- but he cannot even find a team.

Egan Bernal, the only Colombian to win the Tour de France, is struggling to rediscover his former level after a near-fatal training crash, and Miguel Angel Lopez, nicknamed "Superman", was kicked out of his team for his "probable connection" to a doping-tainted doctor.

It has been a remarkable fall from grace for a country that was sparkling on cycling's World Tour just a few years ago.

Quintana, a winner of both the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana and three-time podium finisher at the Tour, was widely expected to announce his retirement earlier this week when he called a press conference in Bogota.

Instead he expressed his determination to carry on, despite failing to find a team for the 2023 season after leaving Arkea-Samsic last year.

Quintana tested positive during the 2022 Tour for a pain killer that whilst not on the WADA list of doping substances has been banned by cycling's authorities on medical grounds.

Tour organisers stripped him of his sixth-placed finish and Arkea-Samsic dropped him.

"An inexplicable wall has risen between me and my desire to race and the possibility of doing so," Quintana, approaching 33, said this week.

His name seems to be tarnished and his star appears to have waned.

"I'm an honest rider and I shall continue to look for a team," he said defiantly.

- Bernal's painful battle back -

Bernal looked set to be the greatest of the highly talented bunch of Colombian cyclists when in 2019 he became the youngest Tour winner in more than 100 years.

Two years later he also won the Giro at a canter.

But his momentum was dramatically stopped a year ago when he crashed into the back of a bus at 62-kilometers/hour while out training.

He fractured 20 different bones and suffered a punctured lung: doctors said he had been lucky to survive, let alone escape paralysis.

After several operations he returned to racing seven months later but was soon forced to take a break from racing for another knee surgery.

"It's been months and months of work," Bernal, who has a strong family entourage, said this week of his struggle back to competitive cycling.

"We saw him at the end of last season and he was way off pace," Colombian cycling specialist Sebastian Heredia told AFP.

Bernal is due to ride the Tour for his British team Ineos later this year, but the 26-year-old said it was too early to talk about that.

After his crash he had to "learn to brush my teeth, eat, these little steps that I had to take and that were very painful."

- Lopez on the ropes -

Lopez was a leader with the Kazakh Astana team until he was abruptly sacked last month due to alleged connections to a doctor being investigated in Spain over a doping network.

"They turned their backs on me, they kicked me out," Lopez said of Astana this week.

He was briefly detained by Spanish police last year but they subsequently denied he was being investigated.

Astana initially suspended him before later sacking the 28-year-old, who was once poised to be Quintana's heir apparent.

After winning the prestigious Tour de Suisse in 2016, Lopez went on to claim podium finishes at the Giro and Vuelta in 2018, also winning the young rider competition at both.

Just four months ago he finished fourth at the Vuelta but now finds himself squeezed out of the World Tour and has signed for the second-tier Continental Tour Team Medellin in his homeland.

While Quintana searches for a team, Bernal and Lopez are at least back racing, at this week's Vuelta de San Juan in Argentina.

After four days of racing in Argentina, both were at least still in contention, with a mountain finish to come to test their legs and demonstrate they can still cut it at elite level.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


  • Xlfbeb
    (2023-02-23 13:05:52Z)

    buy lanoxin 250mg generic buy lanoxin 250 mg online cheap cost molnunat 200mg

  • Bzssao
    (2023-02-24 00:47:36Z)

    acetazolamide order online buy azathioprine 25mg buy imuran 50mg for sale

  • Cjbqcz
    (2023-02-25 11:49:23Z)

    lanoxin 250mg cheap buy molnupiravir 200mg sale brand molnupiravir 200mg

  • Vbbgdv
    (2023-02-27 20:36:37Z)

    coreg 25mg canada order coreg 6.25mg generic amitriptyline 10mg generic

  • Kusrfn
    (2023-02-28 11:28:33Z)

    order amoxicillin 1000mg sale stromectol online ivermectin 6mg

  • Plgdrq
    (2023-03-01 08:32:15Z)

    alendronate medication ibuprofen price buy generic motrin 600mg

  • Kerdhn
    (2023-03-01 22:46:25Z)

    order dapoxetine 90mg buy domperidone 10mg online cheap order motilium pill

  • Allomycle
    (2023-03-02 13:38:41Z)

    canadian pharmacy cialis Now was, in your study, was Kisqali used as a first treatment for the metastatic disease, or was it after the cancer had progressed while being treated with something else

  • Jdmyex
    (2023-03-02 20:22:28Z)

    nortriptyline canada pamelor brand paroxetine 10mg tablet

  • Qhdmcb
    (2023-03-03 11:59:43Z)

    indocin 50mg ca brand tamsulosin 0.4mg order cenforce 50mg online cheap

  • Osqfda
    (2023-03-04 08:32:34Z)

    pepcid 40mg over the counter order mirtazapine 30mg mirtazapine order

  • Zdhrvz
    (2023-03-05 01:20:48Z)

    order doxycycline without prescription methylprednisolone tablets methylprednisolone 4 mg online

  • Zbbgdc
    (2023-03-07 02:08:35Z)

    order tadacip 20mg sale purchase amoxicillin generic trimox 500mg tablet

  • Awyevz
    (2023-03-07 08:00:50Z)

    order tricor sale us viagra sales sildenafil tablet

  • Kxsvbq
    (2023-03-08 16:08:43Z)

    order esomeprazole 20mg generic buy esomeprazole 40mg generic lasix 40mg for sale

  • Iacuyf
    (2023-03-08 22:03:38Z)

    generic tadalafil 40mg Buy tadalafil in usa sildenafil pharmacy

  • Hlqizo
    (2023-03-10 04:36:52Z)

    order minocycline pills gabapentin 800mg oral oral hytrin

  • Zpatej
    (2023-03-10 12:46:00Z)

    cialis for daily use Brand name cialis overnight best ed pills non prescription

  • Rrvvsb
    (2023-03-12 03:10:55Z)

    generic glycomet verapamil 240mg us nolvadex 20mg ca

  • Yjfrus
    (2023-03-12 08:52:30Z)

    purchase provigil for sale purchase modafinil generic buy promethazine for sale

  • Uotpye
    (2023-03-14 00:26:25Z)

    clomiphene generic prednisolone usa brand prednisolone

  • Glfnan
    (2023-03-14 02:52:23Z)

    prednisone 5mg pill isotretinoin 10mg over the counter cheap amoxil for sale

  • Thjdnl
    (2023-03-15 21:28:17Z)

    buy isotretinoin 20mg online brand deltasone acillin ca

  • Ruoluw
    (2023-03-16 00:16:41Z)

    sildenafil 50mg for sale online ed pills proscar sale

  • Xspupd
    (2023-03-17 20:35:24Z)

    ivermectin 1% cream generic prednisone 40mg canada deltasone 20mg sale

  • Isjluq
    (2023-03-17 23:39:25Z)

    order zofran generic amoxicillin uk trimethoprim cost

  • Yeeefo
    (2023-03-20 00:58:11Z)

    brand albuterol synthroid 100mcg oral augmentin cheap

  • Fgnpdc
    (2023-03-20 01:36:16Z)

    accutane 10mg us accutane price buy azithromycin pill

  • Pzfqxi
    (2023-03-22 00:55:12Z)

    modafinil 100mg pill zestril 5mg cheap metoprolol online

  • Qtyopj
    (2023-03-22 12:38:40Z)

    prednisolone sale lasix 40mg for sale lasix 40mg cost

  • Cctcuv
    (2023-03-23 23:59:53Z)

    avodart tablet keflex 125mg drug oral xenical 60mg

  • Xgwrbq
    (2023-03-24 23:37:20Z)

    order doxycycline 100mg generic vardenafil 10mg us buy zovirax 800mg online

  • Dsbamt
    (2023-03-25 23:11:58Z)

    cheap imuran 25mg naproxen online naproxen order


Top News: Sports