Movistar Team rider hands over a maglia rosa as 2014 Giro d'Italia champion to COO José María Álvarez-Pallete
PICTURES | Full gallery – Distrito Telefónica event
The recent winner of the 2014 Giro d’Italia, Movistar Team rider Nairo Quintana, visited today Telefónica’s headquarters in Madrid, where he was welcomed by the COO of the company, José María Álvarez-Pallete. The Colombian gave Pallete one of his maglie rose as a souvenir of his great triumph in Italy.
Quintana was joined in the event by the Movistar Team’s general manager Eusebio Unzué, with all media present, fans over social media and employees of the company able to know the feelings of the man from Boyacá from his own words, discovering the endeavours that led him to a historic first Giro win for the South American continent.
“Now that I was able to take some rest and watch the pictures, I’ve come to realize what I achieved,” explained Quintana. “You’re not really conscious on the very moment you accomplish it, but now it feels fantastic. It’s been a great Giro, but also a very hard one. We found ourselves into circumstances we couldn’t forecast, and we had to get over them. That’s why I don’t feel like the same rider I was when the race started. Now I feel more capable guiding the team on course, managing it as a real leader. Pressure? To be honest, I don’t feel into pressure with all expectations around me. It’s more like a sense of commitment. Commitment to keeping doing things well, growing on. If I do so, I’m sure that many more, huge victories will keep coming.”
In turn, Eusebio Unzué emphasized the hunger of success by his pupil: “He was very confident about himself, absolutely convinced about his own chances. On the Stelvio stage, when there was some talk about route changes before the start, he said to me: ‘We have to do whatever it takes to get to those climbs.’ Every single champion I was lucky enough to guide had the same sense of ambition; yet it’s true that Nairo has a bigger hunger. He doesn’t leave anything to happen by chance, we wants to know everything. Ever since he became a pro, he didn’t stop progressing, and almost none of the goals he set on himself eluded him. He’s exaggeratedly ambitious.”
Quintana, who has taken up training again, will stay in Europe until the end of the month, taking advantage of the time to recon some key stages of the Vuelta a España -the main goal left in his season- before heading back to Colombia, where he will stay training before his predicted return into racing in the Vuelta a Burgos.