Colombia Coldeportes is back training in Colombia following their stint in the United States for the Tour of California. The ProConti outfit is now focussed on the Vuelta a Colombia which begins June 14.
"This year's Vuelta a Colombia route is probably slightly easier than the previous in terms of overall altitude, and it's two days shorter than usual, but that won't make it an easier race itself," General Manager Claudio Corti explained. "They made it a more balanced race, and that helped to land here several non-Colombian teams – it's set to be an extremely contested one."
"As usual, this race will be decided on mountains, but the two time trials scheduled on the first and final days have to be taken into fair account."
The 10-man line up for the UCI 2.2 event is made up of half of the squad that rode California, where the team performed somewhat below expectations. Fabio Duarte was the best-placed for Colombia Coldeportes in California, finishing fifth overall behind winner Robert Gesink (Rabobank). Duarte and Darwin Atapuma took the minor placings behind the Dutchman on Mt Baldy.
Atapuma, Duarte, Victor Hugo Peña, Carlos Julian Quintero, and Juan Pablo Suarez are all backing up with the remainder of the team for Colombia made up of Robinson Chalapud, Esteban Chaves, Juan Pablo Forero, Luis Felipe Laverde and Jeffry Romero.
"I expect several sprint or breakaway chances throughout the 10 road stages," Corti said, "so we tried to find the best possible match to hold our own in every stage."