Quintana leaves Arkea after confirming his renewal, what happened?
Nairo Quintana's shock announcement on his social networks stating that he will not continue with Arkéa-Samsic despite confirming his renewal until 2025 in mid-August and without giving any explanation as to why this surprising decision was made.
Farewell Nairo Quintana to Arkéa-Samsic and end of season for the Colombian
We woke up this Saturday morning to the surprising news that spread like wildfire through the social networks following the publication of a video by Nairo Quintana in which he announced that he would not continue with his current team, the French Arkéa-Samsic squad.
A video in which Nairo began by thanking the team for the opportunities they have given him over the last three seasons while at the same time throwing a little dart pointing out that, as he had promised when he was signed, he has contributed with his performances to Arkéa-Samsic having practically assured his place in the World Tour for the next three seasons.
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He then went on to announce that he would not continue with the French team despite the fact that, just a month and a half ago, his renewal was announced for this new stage in cycling's top category. Of course, this happened just days before it became known that he had tested positive for Tramadol and was disqualified from the Tour de France in which he was 6th in the general classification. All this without providing any reasoning to justify this decision.
The rest of Nairo's publication served to highlight the role of the Colombian national team during the last World Championship and to emphasise the team spirit that has been experienced at the Australian event.
Quintana also announced that due to health problems, which sounds like a poor excuse for not wearing the Arkéa-Samsic jersey again, he would not take part in the Italian classics that will culminate with Il Lombardia, the last monument on the calendar, on 8 October, thus ending his season.
As far as possible
After the initial surprise at Nairo Quintana's announcement, fans speculated about the reason for his decision, especially given the recent renewal of his contract with Arkéa-Samsic.
However, although the positive for Tramadol does not lead to suspension beyond the loss of his place in the Tour de France and the UCI points he has won, we already predicted when the case became known that this decision could come.
The reason can be found in the fact that Arkéa-Samsic is a member of the Movement for Credible Cycling, whose membership implies zero tolerance for any form of doping. This policy is reaffirmed by the recent announcement by the World Anti-Doping Agency to include this substance in the list of banned products, as until now only the International Cycling Union had banned it and only its use in competition.
What is strange is the early outcome, perhaps motivated by the need to find a place in a new team, prior to the decision of Nairo Quintana's appeal to the CAS, which the Colombian said in the video he was optimistic about its resolution.
In any case, the new debate that is now opening up in the world of cycling is to know what Nairo Quintana's destiny will be for the next few seasons, as he will certainly not be short of options where he can continue to demonstrate his quality.