After the encouraging displays at Skoda Tour de Luxembourg and GP Kanton Aargau, the Escarabajos of Team Colombia are set to face a busy weekend in the Tour de Slovénie (June 19th-22nd).
It will be Team Colombia to inaugurate the 97th edition of the Giro d’Italia on Friday May 9th: the Escarabajos were drawn to top the starting list of the 21,7 km team time trial in Northern Ireland’s capital Belfast, where the official teams presentation took place today in a Donegall Square full of people and enthusiasm.
As much as communication and social media grew to an unprecedented role in everyday life, ending up being integral part of everyone’s routine, quite the same happens in pro cycling. In races like the Giro d’Italia, some kind of a parallel race takes place among riders and teams, with different goals – popularity, brand awareness, visibility. And it is quite obvious that social media are a privileged battlefield for it – a reign where comparable figures run crazy marketing people and community managers.
Great mood at Team Colombia after the outstanding display at the Tre Cime di Lavaredo: a big win was missed by short measure, but that can’t take away the huge emotion and satisfaction for a stage and a whole Giro rode at a very high level, and closed with Fabio Duarte’s second place on 2013 Corsa Rosa’s Cima Coppi, just in front of Coldeportes’ Director Andres Botero.
Team Colombia’s Fabio Duarte is back to his best in the final week of the 96th Giro d’Italia, and does not stop showing it stage after stage. In a severe test like stage 18th uphill time trial from Mori to Polsa, the 26-year-old rider from Bogotà took a very strong 13th place, 1.59 behind an unbeatable Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), who looks poised to win his first Giro d’Italia. Nibali overcame Spaniard Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel) on the day, while Damiano Caruso (Cannondale) rounded out the podium.
After yesterday’s emotions, Team Colombia had a quiet day ahead of the high-mountain tryptich set to decide the 96th Giro d’Italia. Claudio Corti’s athletes looked to save energies in the 214 km 17th stage from Caravaggio to Vicenza, where Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) took his second win in this race.
It was a quiet second rest day for Team Colombia: a light two-hour training and much time for recovery for Claudio Corti’s Escarabajos, who completed the second week of the Giro d’Italia in good conditions, after having dealt with a number of tests so far.
Jarlinson Pantano and Robinson Chalapud were protagonist of Giro d’Italia stage 9 on Sunday May 12th, taking the bunch from Sansepolcro to Florence (170 km) in an attacking display since the early kilometres, closed by Pantano with a strong third place behind Russian Maxim Belkov (Katusha) and fellow countryman Carlos Betancur (Ag2r-La Mondiale).
A predictably tough day at the Giro d’Italia, the 7th stage from Marina di San Salvo to Pescara turned into a major upset as the weather severely influenced the final part of the lumpy 177 km stage. Adam Hansen (Lotto-Belisol) unexpectedly survived out of a 6-man early breakaway, taking a big solo win under heavy rain in Pescara. Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani) came in second, outsprinting Danilo Di Luca to lead the first chasing group to the finish, 1.07 behind the winner.
On cards, the 6th stage of the Giro d’Italia was arguably the easiest of those included in the first week of the Corsa Rosa. Instead, the almost pan-flat route from Mola di Bari to Margherita di Savoia (170 km) caused plenty of difficulties for several teams, with a number of crashes happened in the final part of the race.
The first top-10 placement for Team Colombia at 96th Giro d’Italia has arrived today, in Wednesday May 8th stage 5, on a day in which Claudio Corti’s outfit looked destined for even greater things until 1000 metres to go. Jarlinson Pantano placed sixth in the reduced group sprint in Matera, a kick affected by a crash in the final bend, pushing Leonardo Duque to the barrier when he was in perfect position to go on the uphill final drag. John Degenkolb (Argos) was today’s winner, neatly beating Angel Vicioso (Katusha) and Paul Martens (Blanco) to the line. Luca Paolini (Katusha) defended his pink jersey once again.