Colombia-Coldeportes took its first foray in Europe for 2012, with the team combining a training camp with some recon work for the Giro del Trentino in April. The professional continental team toured the race's key climb the Punta Veleno, as well as getting some pointers from former Giro d'Italia winner Gilberto Simoni who was on hand with the team.
Even though snow forced the riders to dismount before the final kilometres of the Punta Veleno, the test was a really significant one, rising from the lake’s banks to an over 1.000 metre altitude in just 8 km, with the gradient peaking up at 20 per cent.
"It is a very tough ascent, no doubt about it," Simoni said after watching the team from the director's car. "I think It will be really decisive in Trentino."
The Colombian riders were in their element, with the highly touted Esteban Chaves notably distinguishing himself.
"Cold made it really tough," said Chaves, who took out the Tour de l'Avenir in 2011. "There are several points to attack and break the rhythm along the climb, but you have to be cautious in order not to suffer on the distance."
See a behind the scenes video of the team training camp below.