Corti complains of “shameful” behaviour as Colombia’s Atapuma is hounded out of Poland breakaway
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Thursday, August 01, 2013

Corti complains of “shameful” behaviour as Colombia’s Atapuma is hounded out of Poland breakaway

by Ben Atkins at 6:17 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Poland
 
“This is not what sport is about,” says ProConti team manager

darwin atapumaClaudio Corti, the general manager of the Colombia team, was incensed by what he saw as “shameful” behaviour from the riders and directeurs sportif in the breakaway of today’s fifth stage of the Tour of Poland, between Nowy Targ and Zakopane. Originally part of a nine-man breakaway, Colombia’s Darwin Atapuma was forced to drop back to the peloton by the others, who felt that his relative high placing in the general classification - starting the day in 24th position, 5’05” behind yellow jersey Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff) - might mean that the peloton would be reluctant to allow them to succeed.

Having received a report over the phone from directeur sportif Valerio Tebaldi, Corti reacted angrily to what he saw as the “mobbing” of his rider by the big budget WorldTour teams.

“What happened today is shameful,” Corti said. “Darwin Atapuma, who reached a brilliant second place in Madonna di Campiglio on Saturday, was part of the early breakaway, until he was literally mobbed by his fellow escapees’ sports directors, and later by the riders themselves, as they were convinced that a man in decent GC position - even though Atapuma was 5 minute down the leader - would have compromised the breakaway’s outcome.

“Other teams’ sports directors made unbelievable pressures to the rider and the team car, telling their riders to unleash consistent and meaningless attacks against Atapuma, who was eventually forced to drop,” Corti explained. “I would like to remind to cycling ‘landlords’ that this is not what sport is about, and it’s a shame to see some teams with huge budgets ready to kill for any result…”

The break was ultimately unsuccessful, with the stage going to former World champion Thor Hushovd (BMC Racing) in another bunch sprint. Whether or not tomorrow’s fugitives will be more successful on the hilly Bukivona circuit - and whether it will include a Colombia rider after Corti’s outburst - remains to be seen.

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