Paris: Colombia’s two-time runner-up Nairo Quintana will compete in this year’s Tour de France after race organisers on Tuesday handed his Akea-Samsic team a wildcard, along with a second French team, B&B Hotels.
The invitations take the number of French teams to six in the 22-strong line-up that will take part in cycling’s most prestigious race, starting June 27 in Nice.
The 29-year-old Quintana, a specialist climber who is a consistent contender in the overall standings of stage races, won the 2014 Giro d’Italia and 2016 Vuelta a Espana, as well as finishing second in the Tour de France in both 2013 and 2015.
The Colombian’s team includes fellow climber Warren Barguil, who won two mountain stages and the mountains classification of the 2017 Tour de France.
“Quintana-Barguil, the ticket looks great for a mountainous Tour!” race organiser Christian Prudhomme said after announcing the two wildcards.