Fabio Duarte leave Geox TMC for the Colombia-Coldeportes squad
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Monday, October 31, 2011

Fabio Duarte leave Geox TMC for the Colombia-Coldeportes squad

by Shane Stokes at 9:03 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Team aiming to take part in Grand Tours next season

Fabio DuarteWhile other riders such as Denis Menchov are in negotiations with other teams and appear set to leave Geox TMC, young Colombian rider Fabio Duarte has already finalised his squad for next year and departs the Spanish squad for the new Colombia-Coldeportes setup.

Duarte, who won the 2008 under 23 world road race championships in Varese, is regarded as one of the most promising of his country’s young riders and will have been on the team’s wish list for quite some time. While he had been expected to continue with Geox-TMC, the considerable uncertainty over the team’s future prompted by its main sponsor withdrawing has caused Duarte to look elsewhere.

He will now race under the guidance of former Saeco and Barloworld general manager Claudio Corti next season, competing alongside many other climbers from his country.

The team confirmed today that 25 year old Duarte will have a programme of mainly European racing. “The programme shall be announced in the next weeks,” stated a team official to VeloNation. “However the team will be based in Italy with all riders staying most of the time in Italy. Consequently European races will be a big part of seasonal activity, with the details to be refined soon according to organizers’ invitations.”

The squad will make its debut in 2012 and is aiming for a Pro Continental licence. It is understood that the squad will lobby for invites to cycling’s Grand Tours. If it is successful in gaining admission to the Tour de France, it will be a huge boost for Colombian cycling, which dominated the mountain climbs during the mid eighties with the Café de Colombia team.

Duarte raced with the Colombia es Pasion Coldeportes team between 2007 and 2009, and two years ago won a stage and took second overall in the Vuelta Ciclista Asturias. He also snagged a stage plus the overall classification in the Circuito Montañés and picked up two stage wins in his country’s national tour.

This season saw him join Geox-TMC and take victory in stage three of the Giro del Trentino and second in both the GP di Lugano and on stage five of the Giro d’Italia. He was unfortunately forced to withdraw from the latter, his first Grand Tour, due to a crash, and suffered two months of knee problems.

Once the situation was resolved, he returned to racing and completed the Vuelta a España, finishing 39th overall after riding for his team-leader and eventual race winner Juan Jose Cobo. He was a solid twelfth on the Angliru stage and also placed twelfth in both the Coppa Sabatini and the Giro dell’Emilia.

Corti is delighted that the rider will be with the team next year. “Duarte’s signing was an important step and I’m very happy the rider understood our project’s meaning, preferring our offer to one of those from the big award-winning teams.”

The full team lineup will be announced shortly. Former Tour de France race leader Víctor Hugo Peña is believed to be one of those who will compete with the squad.

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