He recovered to race the Tour de France in September last year, but a number of crashes, particularly one on stage 13, did more damage to his knee. He finished 17th overall at the Tour de France, and was diagnosed afterward with a fractured patella.
“It is one of the most serious injuries for an athlete,” Quintana said. “I took almost three months anyway, but the fracture has now healed. I have taken good care of my body from the start and I now feel good, although of course I am not yet at top level.”
The Colombian had surgery on both knees last October, with the operation resolving a cartilage problem that had prevented him from training since the Tour de France last year. He posted several short Instagram video clips of himself on the bike in December, while at his home region of Boyacá.
Wielerflits reported on Tuesday that Quintana was scheduled to start racing at the Tour des Alpes Maritimes this month. Following the three-day race, he will participate in Tirreno-Adriatico from March 10-16 and the Volta a Catalunya from March 22-28. He will not defend his title in the Tour de la Provence February 11-14.
Quintana also confirmed that he would like to participate in the Giro d’Italia in May and the Tour de France in July.