Colombia Coldeportes squad gains morale after strong Brabantse Pijl showing
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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Colombia Coldeportes squad gains morale after strong Brabantse Pijl showing

by VeloNation Press at 6:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Brabantse Pijl
 
Corti predicts better results after Duarte’s fourth place finish

Fabio DuarteThe new Colombia Coldeportes team has received a confidence boost after it clocked up its best result to date this year in yesterday’s Fleche Brabançonne/Brabantse Pijl. Former world under 23 champion Fabio Duarte finished fourth in the 1.HC event, and was one of the most aggressive riders in the finale.

The Colombian was part of a chase group behind the solo victor Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), having bridged across to eight others with two laps to go. He then jumped clear on the final lap and almost took second, being passed by Oscar Freire (Katusha) and the Belgian Pieter Serry (TopSport) with 400 metres to go.

The result is an important one for the new team, which has found the going tough in some of its races. Duarte’s previous best results this year were sixteenth in the Trofeo Laigueglia and 19th in Critérium International, and now appears to be coming into better form.

“We rode a great race today, smart in the first part, strong in the finale,” said directeur sportif Valerio Tebaldi afterwards. “All the team was very compact and supported Fabio, always riding in the first 50 positions of the bunch until the race entered the final circuit.

“Fabio’s action to get back on the chasers was absolutely brilliant, and despite that effort he went really close to be second on the finishing line. Great job.”

He also singled out the ride of Esteban Chaves, who rolled in 32nd. He pointed out that the rider is 55 kilos, yet handled the cobbles well.

The team is next due to compete in Sunday’s Giro dell’Appennino, after which it will ride the Giro del Trentino (April 17th to 20th) and next week’s Fleche Wallonne.

Both Tebaldi and general manager Claudio Corti said that they expected Duarte’s showing to be the start of a better wave of performances for the team.

“Today’s result was very important for the team’s morale, and the guys are motivated to do more and more,” said the latter. “We needed this showing a lot, and I am now even more confident.”

Duarte won the world under 23 championships in 2008. Last year the-then Geox TMC rider won a stage of the Giro del Trentino and was second behind Pieter Weening on stage five of the Giro d’Italia.

Colombia Coldeportes is aiming to help Colombian cycling get back to the heights of the 1980s, when riders such as Luis Herrara and Fabio Parra took major results in races such as the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana.

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