Team Colombia quickly shook off an unspectacular team time trial in Vuelta a Colombia stage 2, with Jeffry Romero celebrating his first win of the season at the end of a whole stage on the attack, on the way from San Gil and Barbosa (116 km). Romero also enjoyed his first win in a Team Colombia jersey, as well as his maiden one in Colombia’s biggest stage race.
Former Team Colombia rider Alexis Camacho, runner-up on the day, moved up to first in the overall standings, where Romero sits now in fourth place, 23 seconds behind. Claudio Corti’s team strong display was completed by two more top-10 placements: Miguel Angel Rubiano and Jarlinson Pantano were 8th and 10th respectively, finishing in the main favorites’ group, 52 seconds behind Romero.
The Team had started the race showing determination from the very beginning, holding the lead of the peloton in the early kilometres until a four-man breakaway including Carlos Julian Quintero got on the way. A few kilometres later, seven more athletes including Jeffry Romero bridged back on the leaders, while the pack led by overnight leader Camilo Castiblanco’s EPM-Une never conceded more than 2.30 minutes.
Some drama for Team Colombia took place with 15 km to go, when Jeffry Romero suffered an ill-time puncture: after the quick assistance by the team car, Carlos Julian Quintero gave his all to bring his teammate back in the leading group and in full contention ahead of the final climb.
On the ramps to Barbosa, the top group quickly reduced to six riders, but it was into the last 2 km that the decisive move happened, with Jeffry Romero moving away along with Camacho and eventually taking a neat win in the two-man sprint.
“I am so happy – Romero said after the awarding ceremony – this is a win we really wanted today at the start, and we gave our all to pursue it. It’s a big reward for myself, but also for the whole team and the technical staff: without the team’s car quick help after the puncture and Carlos Quintero’s lead up, I would not be here celebrating now.”
“I wish to thank my Team Colombia and Coldeportes for giving us a chance to represent the Colombian cycling in the World, providing it an invaluable opportunity of promotion and growth,” Romero concluded.
Tomorrow, the Vuelta a Colombia will follow with the third stage, Barbosa – Chiquinquirá – Tunja of 123.2 Km.