• Nairo Quintana is aiming for an ambitious double (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Colombian superstar Nairo Quintana insisted on Friday (AEST) that he is in good shape to tackle the near-impossible Tour de France-Giro d'Italia double this year.
28 Apr 2017 - 11:31 AM 

The feat of trying to win the Giro-Tour double is regarded as near-impossible in the modern era. The last rider to win both the Tour and Giro in the same year was Italian doper Marco Pantani in 1998, and when Grand Tour star Alberto Contador tried to match the feat two years ago, he managed only fifth in France after winning the Giro.

"We've never before tried this wager but we think we're on the right track," said Quintana, "with a training programme adapted to arriving at both in form."

It will be the fourth time that Quintana goes for a Grand Tour double - although this is the first time he will ride the Giro and Tour in the same year - and he's been getting closer each time. He has won the Giro d'Italia in the past, but the best he has managed at the Tour de France is second and many believe that Quintana's 'double' attempt is more about avoiding Froome for at least one Grand Tour this season.

In 2014 he crashed out of the Vuelta a Espana after winning the Giro. The next year he was second at the Tour and then fourth in the Vuelta and 12 months ago he was third at the Tour before winning the Vuelta.

"I feel this year I've got a little bit more maturity and resistance in the body. That's why I think it's the time to do it, when you're in a good physical condition."

The pint-sized Colombian will face an uphill battle against a strong suite of contenders at both the Giro and the Tour, if he can manage the double, it will arguably be one of the greatest porting achievements of our time.