After six intense stages full of thrills, the Vuelta a Colombia is enjoying a day of rest. We’ve reached the halfway mark in this important South American race; now it’s time for the conclusive stages that will lead to the final finish line in Medellin, on Sunday, August 17th.
For now the “Cafeteros” are completely dominating the race. In fact, la Vuelta a Colombia sees Colombian Miguel Angel Rubiano (Colombia Coldeportes) firmly in the lead in the general classification, ahead of fellow countrymen Rafael Anibal Montiel and Luis Felipe Laverde, respectively behind by 53” and 1’16”. Area Zero D’Amico is the only European continental formation besides another German team; it is up to them to carry the colours of European cycling in South America.
“We wanted to participate in the Vuelta a Colombia especially to gain experience,” explains team manager Ivan De Paolis. “This is the first extra-European transfer for Area Zero D’Amico. Our guys, who are being followed in Colombia from the team car by sports director Massimo Codol, are doing a good job. The first stages were particularly useful for getting a feel of things, we’re racing at high elevations and the routes are highly selective, almost always more than 180 km long with plenty of climbs. On a couple of occasions, in the friendlier stages, we tried to get into the race. In the fourth stage the team worked really well to catch up to the breakaway and bring Fabio Chinello to the final in the best conditions to dispute the final sprint. Unfortunately, at about 300 metres from the arrival there was a fall. Fabio had to slow down and he lost the timing to launch a sprint, closing out in 5th place. Too bad, because we could have scored an important result. In any case we are trying to make a good impression; after the second stage Paolo Ciavatta wore the jersey for best foreigner (meaning non-South American) and now, after the sixth stage, the major stage featuring that for which the Colombians is the legendary Hors Categorie climb called l’Alto de la Linea (3288 mt), this jersey has come back to Area Zero D’Amico, this time on the back of Andrea Pasqualon.”
“Here in Colombia the racing level is really very high,” explains Sports Director Massimo Codol. “All the stages turned out to be very challenging. Over all the guys are all doing well; let’s not forget that with the exception of Ciavatta and Pasqualon all the others are super young and in their first year among the pros. Besides the results I’m sure that every one of them will come away from this Vuelta a Colombia in good shape, which will turn out to be useful for the end of the season and they will specifically have had an experience that will be important for their athletic maturation. With eleven days of racing featuring lots of climbs and also two time trials, here the guys are getting the chance to test themselves and get somewhat of an idea as to the efforts required to become a rider in a major, three-week stage race like the Giro, Tour and Vuelta.”
The riders from Area Zero D’Amico competing in the Vuelta a Colombia are: Fabio Chinello, Paolo Ciavatta, Gianluca Leonardi, Gianluca Mengardo, Andrea Pasqualon, Simone Petilli, Marco Tecchio, Stefano Tonin.
Catch all our news and results from the Vuelta a Colombia at: http://federacioncolombianadeciclismo.com/