Nicknamed “Nairoman” and “El Cóndor de Los Andes” by fans for his excellent skills and expertise behind the wheels, Colombian- born Nairo Quintana is a well-known racing cyclist, who currently rides for the Movistar Team.
Quintana didn’t set out to be a cyclist, his skills in cycling was discovered by his father who encouraged him to try a career in sports cycling and cheered him on to success. Today, he stands out as one of the best in his field with so many awards attesting to and showing that he is good and he is the best at what he does.
In 2014, he won the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España in 2016. He emerged second overall in the Tour de France in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
Who Is Nairo Quintana?
Nairo was born into a poor farming Colombian family on 4th February 1990, as Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas. He is one of the five children born to his parents – Luis Quintana and Eloisa Rojas. He has two sisters Nelly and Lady, and two brothers Willington and Dayer who is also a professional cyclist and he is on the same team as his brother Nairo.
Despite the family’s small and limited income, Quintana’s parents saved up some money to buy him a fairly used mountain bike to convey him to school which is 16 km (9.9 mi) away from home. The bike also served as a means to transport the family’s farm produce (fruit and vegetables) from one location to another to sell to consumers.
At the age of 16, Nairo Quintana, with his father’s car, began working as a taxi-driver to make extra income for the family, shuttling between his native home Cómbita, and Pamplona in Navarre. His father saw his skills and potentials and saved up about 300,000 Colombian pesos (around $140) to get him a racing bike to see if he could make a career in the sport.
Nairo Quintana began his cycling career with “Boyacá es para Vivirla”. In 2010, he was named one of the greatest prospects in the future of Colombian cycling after winning the Tour de l’Avenir as part of the team “Café de Colombia.
He moved to Europe in 2012 to join Spanish professional road bicycle racing team – Movistar Team. After his debut with the team, he won the overall classification in a road bicycle race Vuelta a Murcia, which held in and around Murcia, a city in south-eastern Spain. This was followed by a victory at Critérium du Dauphiné – a cycling stage race which is rated as a World Tour event on the UCI calendar.
After winning Critérium du Dauphiné, that same year, he won the Route du Sud and then would go ahead to make his grand debut at the Vuelta a España, finishing second overall and 36th overall. In October, of the same year, he won the Giro dell’Emilia and from then on, he has soared so high in his career.
The next season (2013), he won three stages of the Volta a Catalunya, the following month, right before a group of six fellow overall contenders, Quintana made a final climb in Eibar–Arrate in two seconds and emerged winner of the queen stage of the Tour of the Basque Country.
He later would emerge the overall winner, in the final time trial by finishing second behind Tony Martin and gaining enough time over Sergio Henao from Sky’s team to own the leader’s jersey. In 2014, Nairo Quintana won the white jersey for being the best young rider.
In 2016, he beat Sky’s team Chris Froome to win the Vuelta a España, Colombian Esteban Chaves finished third. Quintana began the 2017 season with the hopes of winning the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France. Unfortunately, his hopes came crashing down when he finished second overall in the Giro-Tour and 12th overall as Chris Froome took the stage as the winner of Tour de France.
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Salary, Net Worth
The annual salary of the pro cyclist is currently put at $161,520 and his net worth is an estimated $4 million (this figure has, however, not been confirmed).
Nairo Quintana’s Height, Weight And Other Facts
The racing cyclist stands at a height of 5″5 that is 1.67 meters, weighing 58 kg (128 lb).
Quintana said he almost didn’t survive infancy as he was sickly, malnourished, and underweight, thus, he is involved with an NGO that promotes infant health.
He is also collaborating with an NGO involved in combating violence against women and equally works with a group involved with cyclist development.
Aside from cycling, Quintana is an entrepreneur, who is seriously building his name and image into a brand across Colombia and the rest of Latin America.