Tour of Turkey: Colombia Coldeportes team disappointed with mountain stage
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tour of Turkey: Colombia Coldeportes team disappointed with mountain stage

by Shane Stokes at 6:49 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Twelfth-place finish best result for team

Esteban ChavesMany predictions were made that the Colombia Coldeportes team would light things up on yesterday’s first-ever summit finish in the Presidential Tour of Turkey, but the performances ended up being more muted than those expectations.

Johan Esteban Chaves was the best-placed of the team but was back in twelfth place, conceding three minutes and two seconds to the surprise winner Ivaylo Gabrovski. The other two riders tipped to perform on the Elmali climb, Fabio Duarte and Juan Pablo Suarez, were 33rd and 89th, although the latter had gone in an earlier break and thus taken the pressure off the team.

“Chaves didn’t go as well as we hoped,” team veteran and former Tour de France Maillot Jaune Victor Hugo Pena told VeloNation at today’s start. “The climb didn’t really suit him, it was very hard, and the winner was very strong.”

The team’s directeur sportif Valerio Tebaldi echoed Pena’s suggestion that the climb wasn’t ideal for the riders. Up until that point, though, he said that things went well. ‘We raced according to our plan. Suarez got into the break, letting the team save energies for the finale. The final climb was really tough, probably harder than we expected, and unfortunately Fabio Duarte had a bad day. On the other hand, Chaves held on pretty well, despite spending a lot of energy in the early kilometres of the climb: that’s the bright spot.”

Pena said this morning that the team wasn’t intending to sit back after yesterday’s disappoiment. “We are going to attack,” he pledged. “There are no more big climbs, but there are smaller hills and the roads are very tough. The surface makes it much harder to race.”

The team has also has a rider for the bunch gallops. Tebalid has promised him the team’s support to him in the days ahead.

“We clearly aren’t in the position we wished, but there are five days left to show off,” he reasoned. “We’ll get into breaks and lead out Juan Pablo Forero in the sprints, while also trying to climb the GC with Chaves. We’ll give it all, that’s for sure.”

Chaves began today’s lumpy 132 kilometre stage twelfth overall, three minutes twelve seconds off the race lead.

Gabrovski is on a continental team with less firepower than the big WorldTour squads in the race, and is certain to come under attack in the days ahead. The 2011 Tour de l'Avenir winner Chaves will hope to be able to profit from that.

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