Team Colombia's Corti believes squad is almost certain to ride the Giro or Tour in 2013
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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Team Colombia's Corti believes squad is almost certain to ride the Giro or Tour in 2013

by VeloNation Press at 11:45 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Giro d'Italia
Colombian riders ready to attack the three week races

Fabio DuarteSeeking to step up things after a solid first year in the peloton, Team Colombia is targeting a start in one of cycling’s Grand Tours and believes it has a strong chance of doing a three week race in 2013.

“We have ninety percent chance of doing the Giro or the Tour,” general manager Claudio Corti told Wieler Revue. “I think the team can add something in the mountain stages. A spectacular way of racing. We want it, but I think the organisers also want us too.”

The team had its first season in 2012 and is seeking to emulate the Colombian riders who set the Tour de France and other races on fire during the eighties. The Café de Colombia team took two stage wins in the 1985 Tour de France via Lucho Herrara, with the climber also securing the mountains jersey that year and two years later.

He also won the 1987 Vuelta a España and the 1988 Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré, while Fabio Parra won a stage and the best young rider jersey in the 1985 Tour.

At the time the Colombian riders were greatly feared in the mountains, with the team causing havoc once the road tilted uphill.

Corti believes that his team will continue to develop and with some talented riders on board such as 2008 world under 23 champion Fabio Duarte, 2011 Tour de l’Avenir winner Johan Esteban Chaves and Giro del Trentino stage victor John Darwin Atapuma, he is confident that Team Colombia can leave its mark.

“We have a good relationship with ASO,” said Corti, speaking about the team’s chances of getting into the Tour. “We already raced the Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, as well as the Criterium International.

“Chaves and Atapuma are riders who Prudhomme likes. In our first year, we wanted to show the organizers that we have a well organized team. Now we want to ride the big races, the Giro and the Tour.”

The team has just finished a seven day training camp in Zipaquirà, close to Colombia’s capital city Bogotà. Corti said that he was pleased by how things went there.

“The training camp was really good, and gave us plenty of valuable indications,” he said. “The riders made the best of last year’s experience, and reported to the camp already fit and in good condition. The new guys also made an impression right away: they are very focused and talented. They will definitely help us to improve as a team as we are going to face bigger challenges in the upcoming season.”

The riders return to their Italian base in January and some of them will then begin their season in the GP Costa degli Etruschi – Donoratico on February second.


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