Colombia Coldeportes team pledges to chase Tour or Vuelta wildcard
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Colombia Coldeportes team pledges to chase Tour or Vuelta wildcard

by VeloNation Press at 4:04 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Team misses out on Giro but welcomes invite to other RCS Sport events

Colombia ColdeportesOfficially invited today to three out of four of RCS Sports big races but missing out on the Giro d’Italia, the Colombia Coldeportes team has said that it is still gunning to ride a Grand Tour in 2012.

“It’s a shame we can’t be at the start of the Corsa Rosa this year, though we were flattered by the great attention and sympathy our team collected, despite being assembled just some weeks ago,” said general manager Claudio Corti this evening. “We still believe in our chances for a start at the Tour de France or at the Vuelta a Espana in 2012.”

The team is aiming to be a modern version of the Café de Colombia squad which animated the Tour de France and other races in the 80s. It features sixteen riders, including former Tour de France yellow jersey wearer Victor Hugo Peña, 2008 under 23 world road race champion Fabio Duarte, 2011 Tour de l’Avenir victor Esteban Chávez and others.

Many are young riders but it’s anticipated that it will nevertheless made a big impression this season.

In December Corti made it clear that it wanted a three week contest in its first year. “As a Professional Continental Team, our aim is to get an invitation for the biggest races in cycling, and we hope to get a chance to ride a Grand Tour in our first season,” he told VeloNation then. “We think our project and team philosophy could help us on the way to the cycling world’s greatest stages: after many years, an all-Colombian team is back in the professional peloton with a very solid project, supported by the Colombian government, and relevant ambitions.”

While the Giro d’Italia invite didn’t arrive, the four slots going instead to Androni Giocattoli, Colnago – CSF Inox, Farnese Vini and Team NetApp, it was nevertheless invited to RCS Sports’ Tirreno-Adriatico, Milano-Sanremo and Il Lombardia.

A communication from the team suggested that it has also secured a place in the Strade Bianche single day race, although RCS Sport is yet to announced the lineup for that event.

Overall, Corti seems quite pleased with how things worked out. “I can’t deny I was hoping for a spot at the Giro, but I still wish to thank the Giro’s management, led by Michele Acquarone and Mauro Vegni, for showing us good consideration,” he stated. “Colombia Coldeportes’ project is very important for the future of cycling, for its growth and development in a new continent, and for the valuable addition this great climbers can prove to be to any race.

“Having the opportunity to race in three World Tour races in our very first season, we will get a chance to show off right away at the Tirreno-Adriatico, and to take part to some great Classics like Sanremo and Lombardia. It is a good achievement for a new team, as we apparently managed to win people’s sympathy and consideration in such a short term.”

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