Only Seven cyclists have won the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in the same year:
- Fausto Coppi (ITA): 1949, 1952
- Jacques Anquetil (FRA): 1964
- Eddy Merckx (BEL): 1970, 1972, 1974
- Bernard Hinault (FRA): 1982, 1985
- Stephen Roche (IRL): 1987
- Miguel Indurain (ESP): 1992, 1993
- Marco Pantani (ITA): 1998
The 26 year old Colombian won the 2014 Giro d’Italia and the 2016 Vuelta a España.
“Cycling is different today. I don’t know if it’s harder than before because I didn’t live in that era, but it’s different. The impression that I have is that the time differences at the end of a Grand Tour used to be more significant. Now, every day is a fight. Often stages are decided by seconds. For this reason, the double motivates me even more, it’s a challenge that attracted us and we are accepting the ‘risk’ involved.
There’ll be serious rivals, [Vincenzo] Nibali and [Fabio] Aru in Italy, and the usual Froome in France, but I think that we can take advantage of the moment, I’m speaking of age and form, and try to complete this complicated thing.
The decision is from the heart. I won the Giro, which morally obligates me to participate in the 100th edition. It’s a form of recognition for the big race that gave me my first big win.
With the Tour we have a big debt that we have to pay off, both for the team and for me it’s a very important race. We decided on the Giro based on emotions and the Tour due to the obligation.” -Quintana told La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper last week.
Quintana believes he can win the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France double this year, he believes he is strong enough to win the two grand tours in 2017. While racing his first Tour de France in 2013, he placed second and then went on to win the Giro d’Italia in 2014. Nairo finished second in the Tour in 2015 and third in the Tour last year where he may have won if not affected by illness. To finish his 2016 season he won the Vuelta a España beating Chris Froome in a fierce battle.