Sunday July 21st, 2013

Stage 21Versailles / Paris Champs-Élysées

Start 18h15 GMT 2+

Nairo Quintana: What I achieved is the result of lots of work

interview21.07.2013Stage 21- Versailles / Paris Champs-Élysées

In his first Tour de France, Nairo Quintana was the second-best in general classification, the winner of the youth classification and the King of the Mountains...

"I can't believe what has happened... I had dreamt of this for a very long time, but didn't believe it could come so early. I'm just a 23-year-old boy, but time goes fast, and I could cry out of pure happiness. We thought winning the stage was feasible, but I wasn't as convinced as my DS nor all the team. They're impressive: they help me so much, especially on the psychological side, to cope with such big challenges. Just all of them: the carers, the technical side, all the riders... they all took me here and I wouldn't have achieved anything without them.

“When [directeur sportif] José Luis Arrieta told me, 'You have to take leadership roles in the team', I stood up and said, ‘Of course.' I was ready, there was no problem, but I told them they would have to forgive me should my legs fail, because the Tour is so fast and the stages, so long. They said I just had to do as much as I could... I should be calm and go as far as the legs would let me to.

“What I achieved is the result of lots of work and the class God and my parents gave me. What I achieved is also a result of my team's work: only since a year ago, I thought about contesting the Tour overall - I had just turned pro and was contesting my first big races, showing myself to the world.

“In Colombia they wanted me to conquer the polka-dot jersey, which was always essential to us Colombian riders… I want to take advantage from this moment to salute another Colombian who won this jersey in the Tour and is now at home, recovering after his accident in the 2011 Tour de Suisse: Mauricio Soler. He told me he would take care of me from there, and this is dedicated to him; best wishes of full recovery, my friend, you're an inspiration for me to keep going."

Stage 21 Versailles / Paris Champs-Élysées

All about the stage key moments

Jersey wearers after the stage 21

Classifications after the stage 21

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