Jarlinson Pantano flies flag for Colombia-Coldeportes in Strade Bianche
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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Jarlinson Pantano flies flag for Colombia-Coldeportes in Strade Bianche

by Kyle Moore at 11:37 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Pro Continental team impresses in first big race

Colombia ColdeportesColombia-Coldeportes got off to a solid start on Saturday in Italy, after putting two riders in the main breakaway in the Monte Paschi Strade Bianche, and finishing with Jarlinson Pantano in 12th place, three minutes 58 seconds behind winner Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Nissan).

The 23-year-old Pantano got into the initial breakaway that contained 12 men, including his team-mate Juan Suarez. When they were reeled in after 135 of 190 kilometers, and Daniele Bennati (Radioshack-Nissan) pushed away, Pantano hung in as the race got selective.

Pantano yo-yoed off the back of the elite selection over the rolling white roads, often riding with Italian road champion Giovanni Visconti (Movistar). While he was able to reattach to the front group on several occasions, Cancellara’s race winning move broke up the bunch for good.

Pantano eventually rolled home 12th in what was essentially the third chasing group on the road, along with Bennati, Visconti, Andrey Amador (Movistar), and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale).

“I am very happy to have gotten a nice result in a race I have never ridden before and didn’t know at all,” Pantano said afterward. “I had been feeling good during the week and I really wanted to come out with a good performance for myself as well as the whole team.

“I went on the attack in the opening kilometers but I managed to stay up front until the end. This result gives me some confidence ahead of the next races, starting with next week’s Tirreno-Adriatico.”

Colombia-Coldeportes veteran Victor Hugo Peña paid tribute to the efforts of the young Pantano, but also to his entire team, which accounted for four of the race’s 52 finishers.

“Congratulations to [Pantano], he deserves that,” Peña lauded. “But I think it was a huge performance by the team as a whole. Look at what Wilson Marentes, Robinson Chalapud, and Carlos Quintero did [21st, 32nd, and 37th place finishes respectively – ed.]. And Suarez could have had a great race had he not been stopped by a puncture.”

Peña knows his team came in to a race not as suited to their characteristics and came away with positive results. It was a performance that could raise interest in the team from race organizers around the sport, which had Peña especially pleased.

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