Dressed head-to-toe in pink and with a rosa Ultimate CF SLX to match, Nairo Quintana rolled across the finish line of the final stage of the 2014 Giro d’Italia yesterday to claim a historic Grand Tour victory for Movistar Team, for Columbia and for Canyon.
Ultimate Success at last for Canyon
With a roll of honour that includes a World Championship title, multiple stage wins in all three Grand Tours, six Monuments and countless other race wins and podiums, the one result that has always proven elusive for Canyon was overall victory in a Grand Tour. Until now.
Nairo Quintana and Movistar Team’s success at the Giro provides a defining moment in the history of Canyon Bicycles. Over the past three weeks, Movistar Team have shown that with the Ultimate CF SLX, Aeroad CF and Speedmax CF, they are without doubt one of the best prepared and best equipped teams around in the UCI WorldTour.
A Grand and Gruelling Giro
From Belfast to Trieste, the battle for the Maglia Rosa was fought out over 21 brutal stages in a Giro of extremes. From the wind-battered coastal roads along the Irish Sea, to monsoon conditions in southern Italy, through freak hail storms and across snow-lined mountain passes in blizzards. The struggle to contend with such treacherous conditions provided a major obstacle for many.
Crashes also played a defining role in the story of the Giro with a number of big names falling victim to slick Italian roads as the rain came down. Teamwork, 100% concentration, tactical know-how and, to a certain degree, luck, were all essential to stay in the race.
Add to all this a final week of racing that tackled the most iconic climbs in Italian cycling, including the Gavia and Stelvio passes in addition to the Zoncolon, the 2014 Giro was undoubtedly one of the toughest Grand Tours in recent years.
Perseverance and Solidarity Key to Movistar Team Success
No rider was immune to misfortune in the race. Quintana himself was involved in the mass pile-ups that defined the first week giving the team cause for concern: “We did fear Nairo wouldn’t be able to recover from his injuries,” claimed manager Eusebio Unzué. What’s more, the Columbian was suffering from a chest infection and allergies throughout the first two weeks meaning he was never entirely at 100% fitness.
Nevertheless, perseverance always pays off. Having made it into the final week the race finally headed into the terrain for which Quintana is made: the high mountains. His victories at Stage 16 to Val Martello and once again during the Stage 19 mountain Time Trial confirmed him as one of the greatest climbers of his generation.
Victory would not have been possible were it not for the strength in depth of the whole Movistar Team. The foundations for success were laid after a solid performance in the opening Team Time Trial in Belfast. Whether on the flats or in the high peaks, Quintana was rarely seen without a teammate at his side, allowing him to save energy for when he needed it most. Out of 21 teams, Movistar Team was the only squad bar one to have a full complement of nine riders by the end of the race in Trieste.
The Best Bike for the Best Rider
Canyon prides itself on the work it carries out with professional athletes to continue developing and perfecting our products. It is a direct result of the hours of testing we put in with the best riders in the world that allows us to build what we believe are the best bikes in the world. Nairo Quintana’s historic victory at the Giro d’Italia only serves to cement that belief.
Congratulations to all at Movistar Team and to Nairo Quintana for winning the 2014 Giro d’Italia!
The winning squad: Nairo Quintana (Col), Andrey Amador (Crc), Igor Anton (Spa), Eros Capecchi (Ita), Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa), José Herrada (Spa), Gorka Izagirre (Spa), Francisco Ventoso (Spa), Adriano Malori (Ita)