Team Colombia: “We are going to the Giro to show off and put up a big show”
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Monday, April 29, 2013

Team Colombia: “We are going to the Giro to show off and put up a big show”

by Ben Atkins at 9:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
South American team targeting the mountains as it makes its Grand Tour debut

edwin avilaThe Colombia team has named its nine-man line up for the Giro d’Italia, which starts on Saturday, May 4th, with the intention of putting on a show in the race’s numerous mountain stages. In what it bills as “a Colombian team’s comeback to the Giro d’Italia”, the all-black squad is making its Grand Tour debut in only its second year and - especially given the team’s many Italian connections - it will be the biggest race of 2013.

“The Giro is the core fixture of our season, and a race all of those guys have been dreaming of since their childhood,” said the team’s Italian general Claudio Corti. “Still, everybody knows what the rules are, and our mission is to pick the best and most suited line-up for this three-week effort.”

The Colombia team for the Giro d’Italia will be led by strong climbers Darwin Atapuma and Fabio Duarte, who will look to live up to the great tradition of Colombian climbers on the race’s iconic climbs. Jarlinson Pantano and Robinson Chalapud will also hope to perform in the mountains, while Carlos Quintero will be charged with getting into breakaways during the three-week race.

Wilson Marentes and Dalivier Ospina will be the team’s captains in the flat and mountain stages respectively, while the team’s two sprinters - veteran Leonardo Duque and youngster Edwin Ávila (pictured) - will be out to prove that there is more to Colombian cycling than just climbing.

“We tried to setup a balanced group, capable of staying in the action in every race situation,” Corti explained, “even if our main focus will be on the mountains, where our top athletes can show their best qualities. We are going to the Giro to show off and put up a big show, that is what everyone is expecting from us.”

One rider missing from the South American team’s line up will be promising youngster Johan Esteban Chaves, who has yet to fully recover from the multiple fractures he sustained in February’s Trofeo Laigueglia.

“We are really disappointed not to have Esteban in the mix, and it’s not only because he is a strong man, definitely suited to the Giro route,” said Corti. “He is a serious and committed athlete, and was really looking forward to this race, but he is taking it with great maturity, realising he will have many other opportunities in his career: now he needs to recover completely, as we care about the man and his health in first place.”

The Colombia team will travel to Naples on Wednesday, May 1st, to be ready for the Giro start on Saturday.

Colombia team for the Giro d’Italia
Darwin Atapuma, Edwin Avila, Robinson Chalapud, Fabio Duarte, Leonardo Duque, Wilson Marentes, Dalivier Ospina, Jarlinson Pantano, Carlos Julian Quintero


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