Santiago Botero has found a new home with Colombian Continental team UNE Orbitel which held its official presentation in Bogota on Monday evening. The 34 year-old has spent his last 10 seasons in Europe but will now concentrate on domestic racing after being implicated in Operación Puerto as part of the now defunct Phonak team.
"For me it is very important to ride in my home country," said Botero. "I hope win the Tour of Colombia and go to the time trial at the World Championships in Stuttgart this year and I want to be on the podium."
Botero was cleared by the Columbian cycling federation of any involvement in Operación Puerto on November 11 last year. This was due to "lack of evidence" according to Carlos Vargas, president of the federation's disciplinary committee.
The UNE Orbital team of 16 Colombian riders will contest races in both North and South America this season. The team's first race will be the Vuelta al Valle from March 7 to 11.
See the Cyclingnewsteams database for the complete team roster.
Courtesy of Luis Barbosa