Corti looking to bolster roster with neo-pros
Fabio Duarte has extended his current contract with Team Colombia through 2014 in a deal struck late last week that will see the 27-year-old from Facatativá lead the team.
Duarte has not enjoyed the same success this season as he did in 2012 where he earned two wins – at the Coppa Sabatini and Vuelta a Colombia - plus finished fifth overall at the Tour of California, however his podium finish at the Giro d'Italia's 20th stage is seen as a real highlight.
"Fabio is an important athlete, has got a Under 23 World title under his belt, notched several significant wins as a professional and showed good things at the Giro d'Italia this year, including a brilliant runner-up spot in the queen stage to Tre Cime di Lavaredo, behind an outstanding Vincenzo Nibali," team general manager Claudio Corti explained. "We are happy to have him on board for next season, despite the difficult year he has had due to several problems, because Fabio really has a huge potential. He is a real class act, we need to help him find more confidence and consistency."
Colombian cycling is currently experiencing a boom, thanks to the efforts of Nairo Quintana (Movistar), who finished second overall at the Tour de France, Rigoberto Urán and Sergio Henao (Team Sky) with the trio all making a statement through their riding on the world stage. Corti meanwhile, is looking for the next generation and is completing the team's roster for 2014 with mostly neo-pro riders. Colombia will lose the services of Darwin Atapuma next season, having signed with BMC.
"Colombian cycling is proving to have one of the most flourishing classes of young talents in the world at the moment," he said. "Our role, as Team Colombia, is to help these prospects to develop on the International stage: that's the mission the Colombian government gave us, and I believe we have been doing it well so far."
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