The Most Successful Colombians in the Vuelta a España

We tell you a little about those born in Colombia who have been successful in the great Spanish tour.

Lucho Herrera and Nairo Quintana

Another of the Grand Tours begins and as is customary in LatinAmerican Post, we want to talk about some of the Colombians who have excelled in these competitions. Photos: antena2, ourciclismo.com

LatinAmerican Post| Juan Manuel Londoño

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Leer en español: Los colombianos más exitosos en la Vuelta a España

Another of the Grand Tours begins and as is tradition in LatinAmerican Post, we want to talk about some of the Colombians who have excelled in these competitions . In this case, we will take up the stories of the cafeteros who have triumphed in the Vuelta a España.

Nairo Quintana

Perhaps one of the most significant moments in the history of Colombian sports in recent times was when Nairo won the Vuelta in 2016. Quintana had already made a name for himself in 2014 by winning the Giro d'Italia , but this victory increased his legend.

By then the Boyacá-born was racing for the Movistar Team. It started out slow. He did not become leader until the eighth stage in a mountain route that comprised 181.5km between Villalpando and La Camperona.

However, when he won stage number 10, another mountain stage, Nairo did not stop. He took a 57-second lead on that stage over all the other riders that left him in the lead until the end.

Nairo finished the event with a time of 80 h 42 min 36 s. The second fastest rider, the Briton Chris Froome, was 1min 23 seconds behind him .

The image of a triumphant Nairo at the end of the Tour was a source of great national pride among Colombians. Nairo shared the podium with another cafetero, Esteban Chaves, who finished third .

Also read: How to start sport climbing?

Lucho Herrera

But before Nairo, almost three decades earlier, another Colombian conquered the Vuelta a España. This is Lucho Herrera, the greatest exponent of Colombian cycling during the 80s . “El Jardinerito de Fusagasugá” made history by becoming the first from his country to win one of the three Grand Tours .

He did so by winning in the memorable stage 11, the "queen" of this race, 179km between Santander and Lagos de Covadonga . "I'm better than I expected and it is truly a shame that in this competition there are so many kilometers time trial, because I showed that in a mountain in between I can distance my rivals," Herrera said in an interview with El Tiempo after an emphatic victory.

Herrera took a 39-second lead over the other cyclists at that stage and, like Quintana, did not miss this opportunity. He remained in the lead until the end of the competition, at stage 22.

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