It will not be just another edition of the Doyenne, celebrating its 100th birthday right in 2014 – even the King of Belgium will be at the start – and Claudio Corti’s riders, with Sports Director Oscar Pellicioli calling the shots from the team car, are determined to step up to the challenge.
On the 263 km route from Liege to Ans, Miguel Angel Rubiano will make his race comeback after some weeks training in altitude in Colombia, wearing for the first time the new Colombian National Champion jersey he conquered in Cartagena two weeks ago. He will be joined by Robinson Chalapud and Rodolfo Torres, both after riding the Fleche Wallonne on Wednesday, and five riders from the line-up that provided an excellent display at the Giro del Trentino: Juan Esteban Arango, Carlos Julian Quintero, Leonardo Duque, Jarlinson Pantano and, of course, Fabio Duarte.
“Fabio is showing to get closer to the top condition every day – General Manager Claudio Corti said – and we count on him to put his quality to good use in a race like L-B-L, even after a long journey by car, due to the passports issue. Rubiano will go on recognition on the final 50 km today, and will debut in the National Champion jersey, so he will be motivated to provide a good performance. Along with them, we got a strong and in-form line-up, and we are confident to be able to hold our own in this cycling monument.”
Tomorrow, Sunday April 27th, the Presidential Tour of Turkey will get underway too, but this time without the Escarabajos. In fact, Team Colombia had to withdraw from the stage race after the UK Embassy failed to return the riders’ passports, still in the process of receiving a UK visa to race the Giro d’Italia. “Race director Ahmet Ozgan showed us great solidarity, and declared available to reschedule our flights until the very last second, but the UK Embassy gave us no chance to recollect the passports in time, and regretfully we could not do anything but opt out of the race. The Embassy did not give us information about where the passports stand at this very moment, when the Visas are supposed to be released, nor the reasons of the delay. We are doing our best to avoid this absurd issue to jeopadize our Giro d’Italia participation,” Corti stated.
Liege-Bastogne-Liege (April 27th)
Line-up: Juan Esteban Arango, Robinson Chalapud, Fabio Duarte, Leonardo Duque, Jarlinson Pantano, Carlos Julian Quintero, Miguel Angel Rubiano, Rodolfo Torres
Sports Director: Oscar Pellicioli