Le Puy-en-Velay - Tour de France hopeful Nairo Quintana
sprung to the defence of his Movistar team on Monday after his father had
blasted the Spanish outfit in the Colombian press.
This has been a Tour to forget for Quintana and Movistar,
right since the opening stage.
Alejandro Valverde, who was third overall two years ago,
crashed out in the stage one time-trial and suffered a broken kneecap.
Since then, Quintana has been far from his brilliant best,
losing almost four minutes to his yellow jersey rivals on Sunday when he
dropped to 11th and more than six minutes off the pace of leader Chris Froome.
He is paying for having ridden in May's Giro d'Italia, where
he finished second, and has complained of tiredness during the Tour.
That led to his father telling a Colombian radio station
that Movistar are flogging his son and compromising his Tour chances.
"I haven't spoken to my father for a few days. He has
his opinion, what people tell him," said Quintana.
"He's getting drunk on the people's praise, for his
words, for his frustrations, in one way or another, by all Colombians."
But Quintana said this is only happening because the Tour is
"When you're in front and winning, no-one says anything
and everything's perfect.
"His words were of anger, in the moment. I don't think
you should take much notice of them, and I don't share them."
Luis Quintana had complained that his son shouldn't have
raced at the Giro when his main aim is the Tour de France.
It is widely considered that there is not enough time to
recover from the exertions of riding the Giro in May before the Tour in July.
"Colombians are protesting because of what they
(Movistar) are asking Nairo to do," Luis Quintana had told Radio Caracol
"He shouldn't have ridden the Giro if they were taking
him to the Tour."
Last year, Quintana finished third at the Tour before going
on to win the Vuelta a Espana in September.
It led Movistar to believe he was stronger in his second
Grand Tour of the year than his first, so they decided to try the Giro-Tour
double this year.
However, Quintana has struggled several times in the
mountains, despite finishing second on Friday's Pyrenean stage, and has
admitted that it was a mistake.