Quintana set to skip Tour

Last year's Tour de France runner-up Nairo Quintana is set to skip the 2014 race and concentrate on the Giro d'Italia.

The absence of the Colombian would be a boost to the chances of defending champion Chris Froome, as Quintana was hugely impressive in the mountains last year and was one of the few riders able to attack the Brit.

Quintana to ride the Giro instead of the Tour this year and Movistar general manager Eusebio Unzue now seems to have confirmed the news

Quintana, 23, finished the 2013 Tour four minutes and 20 seconds behind Froome but claimed a memorable victory in the mountainous penultimate stage and ended up claiming both the polka-dot king of the mountains jersey and the best young rider's white jersey.

However, Spaniard Alejandro Valverde will lead the Movistar team at the Tour in July while Quintana will have the honour for the Giro in May.

Unzue said: "Personally, I don't think it's a good idea at his age to bring Nairo to the Tour, with the pressure to do better than last year."

Quintana, who has just wrapped up victory in the Tour of San Luis in Argentina, will also ride the Tour of Spain this August, where he will share leadership duties with Valverde.