Team Colombia on Giro wildcard: “We will show what we are really able to do”
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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Team Colombia on Giro wildcard: “We will show what we are really able to do”

by Shane Stokes at 4:21 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox celebrates securing wildcards to four RCS Sport races

Fabio DuarteBolstered by its second consecutive Giro d’Italia wildcard, Team Colombia has said that it is determined to leave its mark on the race this coming May. Last year Fabio Duarte went close to taking a stage win, finishing second on stage twenty. Heading back to the event again as a result of the invite it received Thursday, general manger Claudio Corti and his riders will seek at least one stage win this time round.

“We were excited to receive the wildcard twelve months ago, but this time it might be even more thrilling: last year it was our debut, but this time receiving this wildcard means a lot more in comparison,” said Corti. “It means that we managed to show the real value of our project, in technical, professional and organizational terms.

“Reaching the top in the sports world is never easy, but managing to stay there is really the hardest part: now we have one more year of experience and maturation, and we will show what we are really able to do.”

Duarte is now 27 years of age and is heading into the peak years for an athlete. His performance on the Tre Cime di Lavaredo climb last year was very impressive, with only race winner Vincenzo Nibali finishing ahead of him on the climb.

“I am very happy, I was very confident this news would come,” said Duarte. “I believed in our chances due to the confidence I have in Claudio Corti, who made a great job of leading this team to the highest level in organizational quality.

“We owe him a lot, and we need to thank him. We are obviously grateful to Coldeportes and the Colombian Olympic Committee that made this project come to life in first place, and all the supporters who helped us with the #Colombia4Giro campaign. Once again they have been a huge part of this outcome, and I really want them to know it.”

The former world under 23 champion and several others from the team will arrive in Argentina today, days before the start of the Tour de San Luis. Duarte hopes to have a good season start there, and to continue building his form at next month’s Tour de Langkawi.

He said that the Giro wildcard news was a big boost to his and the team’s morale.

The Coldeportes’ group president Andres Botero, who is also the Colombian sports minister, said that the team fully earned its place.

“2013 was a real breakthrough year for Colombian cycling as a whole, and I feel this wildcard nod as an acknowledgement of the role of Colombia in today’s World cycling,” he said. “Colombia established itself among the top movements in the sport, and this project is a big part of it. I can’t wait to see them at the Giro again.”

In addition to Colombia, three other teams were also confirmed today by Giro organisers RCS Sport. The first, Androni Giocattoli, already knew it has a place as a result in its victory in the Italian Cup series last year.

The other two are Yellow Fluo and Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox, two Italian squads.

The latter naturally took satisfaction from the decision, but pointed out that it was also given a wildcard to three other RCS Sport races.

“The Bardiani – CSF Pro Team has received today from RCS Sport the wild cards to take the start at all 2014 World Tour races organized in Italy: Tirreno – Adriatico, Milano – Sanremo, Giro d’Italia and Il Lombardia,” it said in a brief statement.

“It’s a great result because the #Greenteam is the only UCI Pro-Continental [squad] in the world that got this possibility, which rewards a sport project with high future ambitions.”

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