Colombia ripe for Tour de France debut
Corti: “Team Colombia ripe for Tour de France debut”
It has been a week since Team Colombia riders have travelled back to Colombia for some weeks of training while spending time with their families, and yesterday Claudio Corti joined them in South America as well. The General Manager is in Colombia to hold some meetings with the team’s institutional partners, starting with Coldeportes and Director Andres Botero, to lay down the basis for 2015 season.
“The team’s project had started with a 3-year cycle, ending in 2014,” Corti said, “but I think there is a common intention to start a new one in 2015, to follow the path of a team that became very popular among Colombians while collecting a great deal of consideration in World Cycling at any stage, and is now ready to face two Grand Tours in a year: our goal will be to deserve another nod for the Giro d’Italia and make our debut at the Tour de France.”
“In these three years, we took part to many of the greatest races in the World” – Corti continued – “claiming our status as a professional, young and combative team. Our intention is to follow on this path to be at the start of cycling top-events with consistency and improve our results: in order to do so, we are looking to build up a more numerous roster – no less than 20 athletes – while adding some non-Colombian athletes as well. After three years in the “big leagues”, racing next to the most competitive teams in the World, our riders in first place realized what an upside staying close to foreign team and riders with different characteristics can bring, both in terms of personal growth and team’s performance.”
A second stage race is among Team Colombia’s goals in the near future, hoping for another Giro d’Italia invitation after two very solid displays in 2013 and 2014: “On Saturday, the Tour de France will move from Leeds with only three Colombians in the bunch, including one – Darwin Atapuma – who was brought to Europe by us and made a two-year experience at Team Colombia. This is arguably the brightest moment in Colombian cycling history, so it is surprising to see so few Colombians in the biggest race in the World.”
Next year, Corti hopes his own Team Colombia riders will help grow that number: “Honestly, we feel ready for the challenge. In 2015, with one more year of experience, more riders and some valuable additions, we will try to go for a wildcard for both Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.”