Nairo Quintana is preparing to make his racing comeback in the 2024 Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana in Spain. The Colombian star has reunited with his former team, Movistar, for the upcoming season, marking his return to competitive cycling after more than a year-long hiatus. This break was the result of his positive test for tramadol and subsequent disqualification from the 2022 Tour de France.
Tramadol’s in-competition use was prohibited by the UCI in 2019, but it is set to be added to the WADA banned list from January 1, 2024. While Quintana was allowed to continue racing following his positive tests, he faced challenges finding a team for the 2023 season.
However, in October, Quintana announced his return to Movistar for 2024, the team he had previously been a part of from 2012 to 2019, during which he achieved notable victories such as the 2014 Giro d’Italia and the 2016 Vuelta a España.
In an interview with Caracol Radio, Quintana disclosed that he plans to kick off his 2024 racing season at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, scheduled from January 31 to February 4. While he expressed his intention to participate, he couldn’t confirm or rule out his subsequent presence in the revived Tour Colombia, taking place from February 6 to 11 next year.
The Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana holds special memories for Quintana, as he emerged victorious in the event back in 2017, thanks in large part to a solo triumph in that year’s challenging summit finish.
While traditionally considered one of the toughest early-season stage races, details regarding the 2024 Valenciana route have not yet been revealed. In the previous edition, Rui Costa (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) secured victory with a daring late attack on the final day through the streets of Valencia.
Although there are rumours suggesting that Quintana may participate in the Giro d’Italia next year, no official confirmation has been provided by either the team or the rider at this stage.