Team Colombia focussing on new signing to replace Camacho, but no development on talks with Samuel Sanchez
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Friday, January 03, 2014

Team Colombia focussing on new signing to replace Camacho, but no development on talks with Samuel Sanchez

by Shane Stokes at 8:04 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Door not closed but no progress has been made of late; zero possibility of Horner joining

Team ColombiaAlthough it indicated in November that it had exploratory talks with Samuel Sanchez about a possible move to the squad, Team Colombia has said that there have been no recent developments and that it is uncertain if such a contract could materialise.

The South American squad said three days ago that it was looking at signing a new rider after a previous contract with 2013 neo-pro Alexis Camacho unravelled.

The team stated that it and the 23 year old had come to a mutual agreement that he would return to Colombia and focus on his development at this point in time, with his first year in the pro ranks not going to plan.

“Team Colombia’s technical staff will evaluate the signing of another valuable piece to restock the roster in the next few days,” it said in a team statement.

However it is clear that the next signing will not be Sanchez. Contacted by VeloNation, the team’s press officer David Evangelista said that things had not evolved in that area. “Those we are considering for the vacant place are Colombian,” he said. “There were a couple of young riders that we have had negotiations with in the past and they are amongst those being considered. We currently have sixteen riders and so that would be a seventeenth. It should be decided soon.”

He said that it was possible that the rider who could take Camacho’s place could already have been racing in the peloton, rather than being a neo-pro.

As for Sanchez, the 2008 Olympic champion is still without a contract following the collapse of his Euskaltel Euskadi team. Evangelista told VeloNation in November that the Spaniard was of interest, but that he needed to resolve his situation with Euskaltel Euskadi before anything more could be done.

It was understood that Sanchez was trying to reach a settlement with his former team as he had a contract with extended beyond the end of 2013, when the it stopped.

However while Sanchez has reportedly settled terms with Euskaltel Euskadi in recent weeks, things have not progressed with Team Colombia. “As regards Samuel Sanchez, as far as I know there haven’t been recent discussions,” Evangelista confirmed.

The door is not closed, but there is equally no sign of an agreement at this point in time.

Once the replacement for Camacho is decided, Evangelista said the team would then decide if the roster was complete or if it wanted one more.

“There is room for riders – we have sixteen, a final total of seventeen or eighteen is possible. However it remains to be seen if the team decides that choosing another rider [to fill the potential eighteenth slot – ed.] is worth it.”

While he wouldn’t comment on the riders who could potentially be considered, he confirmed that Vuelta a España winner Chris Horner is not in the running. Like Sanchez, he too is yet to secure a team slot for 2014.

Team Colombia rode its first Grand Tour last year when it participated in the Giro d’Italia. Fabio Duarte took its best result there, finishing second behind final overall winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) on the queen stage to Tre Cime di Lavaredo.

Duarte stated yesterday that he was in his best-ever form at this time of the year, and was feeling confident prior to his first race of the season, the Tour de San Luis.

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