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Quintana needs to attack more to win Tour - LeMond
June 15, 2017 / 12:25 PM / 6 months ago

Quintana needs to attack more to win Tour - LeMond

LONDON (Reuters) - Nairo Quintana will struggle to complete his collection of Grand Tour triumphs unless he adopts a more aggressive style, three-times Tour de France winner Greg LeMond believes.

Cycling - Tour de France cycling race - The 184.5 km (114.6 miles) Stage 17 from Berne to Finhaut-Emosson, Switzerland - 20/07/2016 - Movistar Team rider Nairo Quintana of Colombia prepares to start before the stage. REUTERS/Juan Medina Picture Supplied by Action Images

The Colombian, winner of the 2014 Giro d‘Italia and last year’s Vuelta, has been frustrated in his efforts to win the Tour de France, finishing second and third in the last two editions both won by Chris Froome.

Quintana will again be a major rival of Froome when this year’s race starts in Dusseldorf on July 1, but LeMond is not convinced by the 27-year-old’s ability to mount the attacks needed to ruffle Froome’s feathers.

“I would love to see Quintana win but he lacks the ability to attack and his time trial needs to be improved,” the American LeMond, who will be broadcaster Eurosport’s chief analyst during the three-week slog, said in an interview.

“He is too steady and needs some explosiveness to be able to drop people.”

Quintana will lead a powerful Movistar team that also includes veteran Spaniard Alejandro Valverde.

He had targeted a Giro d‘Italia/Tour de France double this year but lost the Giro to flying Dutchman Tom Dumoulin on the final day’s time trial despite holding a 53-second lead.

LeMond believes Quintana will be physically ready for the Tour de France, but says the psychological effects of losing such a tight battle could have an impact.

“Recovering from the Giro is psychological. That’s the main thing,” said LeMond, who won the Tour in 1986, 1989 and 1990.

“Physically your body recovers but if you’ve had a battle like Quintana had in the Giro, that can tough. But racing is better than training and if you do a three-week Tour and do the right recovery you should be in even better shape at the Tour.”

LeMond also believes Spain’s former winner Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) will be dangerous after skipping the Giro.

“I would not be surprised if Contador was on top of his game. I think he tried to pull off too much last year with the Giro so wouldn’t be surprised if he was right there,” he said.

“He didn’t have much help last year and had some bad luck and that’s all it takes to throw you off.”

Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Mark Heinrich

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