Colombia-Coldeportes to begin first pro season tomorrow at GP Costa degli Etruschi
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Friday, February 3, 2012

Colombia-Coldeportes to begin first pro season tomorrow at GP Costa degli Etruschi

by VeloNation Press at 4:47 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Leopard Trek Continental team also confirms lineup for 1.1 line-up for season opener

Colombia ColdeportesThe new Colombia Coldeportes team has completed preparations for its first race of the season, the GP Costa degli Etruschi, and is keeping its collective fingers crossed that the cold spell chilling Europe doesn’t have an impact on tomorrow’s race.

A total of ten riders are scheduled to start the 1.1 ranked race, with former Tour de France Maillot Jaune Victor Hugo Pena, 2008 world under 23 champion Fabio Duarte, Robinson Chalapud, Juan Pablo Forero, Javier Gonzalez, Felipe Laverde, Wilson Marentes, Frank Osorio, Dalivier Ospina and Jeffry Romero all on the starting list.

The riders have worked hard this past week in Torbole sur Garda in order to get some last minute sharpening done. The final day was hit by snow, and so the riders used indoor trainers to ensure they could get some work done.

It meant they did less training than had been planned, but their directeur sportif Valerio Tebaldi is fine with that. “It’s still good this way, we feel ready,” he explained. “The weather allowed us to work on distance a lot over the last few days, and some rest ahead of the season opening definitely won’t hurt.”

As regards the race parcours, he acknowledges that the Colombian climbers would prefer a different type of course; the route was changed due to weather conditions, with the big climbs taken out of it. However he says that the team will ride aggressively anyway in the hunt for a confidence-boosting early result.

“This race doesn’t exactly match our characteristics, but we’ll rely on sprinter Juan Pablo Forero to play our chances in the finale, as a bunch finish seems on cards,” he said. “During the race, experienced Peña and Laverde will protect him, while Marentes and Osorio will be in charge to bring him into good position in the final two km. Finally, Romero will be the lead-out man.”

“Forero rarely used a lead-out train in his career: he’s a tricky sprinter, able to stay in other team’s wake. Nevertheless, having a rider like Duarte, who also has some pop in sprints, means we also have a chance if the race is decided from distance.”

Meanwhile the race will also mark the season debut of the Leopard Trek Continental team, which includes some promising riders for the future. It’s a form of feeder squad for the RadioShack Nissan setup but also a way to boost the prospects for Luxembourg cycling; the GP Costa degli Etruschi will see that project begin.

The director sportif Adriano Baffi noted that the parcours has been neutered somewhat because of those weather conditions. He said that either way, the team would ride aggressively. “The original route favoured the riders with a mind set on attacking, because it all depended on how the teams would interpret the new route,” he said. “Now that the route is less hard, it's a lot more likely that the race will end in a bunch sprint in Donoratico.”

“We have strong guys for both scenarios. Bob Jungels and Alexandr Pliuschin are strong riders that can try their luck in a breakaway. If the odds are for a bunch sprint, then we turn our attention to Giorgio Brambilla and Oliver Hofstetter. Fabio Silvestre and Eugenio Alafaci are there to help our fast men to defend their chances.”

Those riders will be joined by Jesus Ezquerra, Julian Kern, Pit Schlechter and Joël Zangerle.

GP Costa degli Etruschi

Colombia Coldeportes: Robinson Chalapud, Fabio Duarte, Juan Pablo Forero, Javier Gonzalez, Felipe Laverde, Wilson Marentes, Frank Osorio, Dalivier Ospina, Victor Hugo Peña and Jeffry Romero.

Leopard Trek: Eugenio Alafaci, Giorgio Brambilla, Jesus Ezquerra, Oliver Hofstetter, Bob Jungels, Julian Kern, Alexandr Pliuschin, Pit Schlechter, Fabio Silvestre and Joël Zangerle.


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