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Tour de France: Nairo Quintana says he won't repeat 2015 'mistake'

Nairo Quintana, Movistar
Image: Nairo Quintana is the bookmakers' second favourite to win the Tour de France

Nairo Quintana is adamant there will be no repeat of the early time losses he sustained at last year’s Tour de France when he begins his bid for the 2016 title this weekend.

The Movistar rider surrendered 1min 28sec to Chris Froome on a windy second stage in the Netherlands 12 months ago after being caught on the wrong side of a split in the peloton.

It was a mistake that ultimately cost him overall victory given that he went on to finish only 1min 12sec behind Froome in second place overall.

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The opening week of this year's race is once again packed with potentially hazardous stages, but Quintana insists he has learnt his lesson.

He said: "We are tackling the start of the race with better attention. We know we made a mistake in Holland last year. We will make sure it won't happen again this year."

Tour de France 2015's winner Great Britain's Christopher Froome (C) shakes hand with second-placed Colombia's Nairo Quintana (L), as third-placed Spain's A
Image: Quintana, left, finished second to Chris Froome, middle, in the 2013 and 2015 Tours

The 26-year-old was more than three minutes adrift of Froome after 10 stages of last year's Tour but ended the race far stronger than the Briton, who wilted in the final week.

Quintana believes he is the more consistent rider of the two and hopes that will be crucial to the overall outcome of this year's race.

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"I'm in good form at the moment," he added. "The point is, I think I'm the one who keeps more regularity over the three weeks."

This year's Tour starts on Saturday at Mont-Saint-Michel and takes in four summit finishes and two time trials before ending with a sprint stage into Paris on Sunday, July 24.

Nairo Quintana on stage three of the 2016 Tour de Romandie
Image: The Tour de Romandie was one of three stages races Quintana has won this year

The summit finishes are in Andorra, Mont Ventoux, Finhaut-Emosson and Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc, while the second of the time trials takes place on a hilly course in Megeve on stage 18.

Quintana said: "I think Andorra will be really demanding, with huge vertical gain and long ascents. It will really hurt the legs.

Nairo Quintana, Tour de Romandie
Image: Quintana insists he is a more mature and experienced rider

"It [stage 18] is a difficult time trial, one that requires more strength from your mind rather than your legs. It will be even more complicated considering we will still feel the wear and tear from the Pyrenees and Ventoux.

"I [reconnoitred] it during the season and I think it shouldn't be bad for me. I will try to defend myself as well as possible."

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