Tricolour to debut at La Flèche Wallonne
Miguel Angel Rubiano won his first race in the colours of Team Colombia at the national Colombian road race ahead of Lampre Merida's Winner Acanona and and former Team Colombia rider Juan Pablo Suarez (EPM-Une).
Rubiano, a stage winner at the 2012 Giro d'Italia, claimed his first win for the team having spent the last two seasons with Androni Giocattoli.
On the 156km course in Cartagena, it was Rubiano who proved to be the canniest of a 13-man group that had broken away around the halfway stage of the 10 lap pan-flat circuit, out sprinting his companions and claiming the national title.
On lap 6, the 13-man group, including many of the favourites, broke away from the main bunch with only Valle del Cauca leading the chase behind which was to prove futile as Rubiano claimed his ninth career win.
"I feel happy and proud to bring this jersey back to Europe after a long time, and be able to show it in some of the biggest races in the World," Rubiano said afterwards. "I was confident in my chances, and I am sure this achievement will provide another boost to the whole team."
"In the first five laps there were riders attacking everywhere, and the peloton split due to the wind, but I always managed to race in the top positions. It was key today, as in races like this any move can be the right one, and I was sharp and lucky to work my way into the winning one.
"In the final kilometre, the road was slightly uphill until 500 metres to go, and then down until the line: I kicked early, gaining a little and then I pushed on in the descent until I raised my arms."
Rubiano will debut his new jersey on April 23 at La Flèche Wallonne and is down as a starter for the Giro. A race he has competed in three time – 2006, 2012 and 2013.
After the race, Rubiano was quick to say thanks for the support of his family. "I wish to dedicate this win to my wife and my two daughters, who were here to support me, but above all to my mother – on her birthday," he said.
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