Parra calls for Colombian alliance to defeat Nibali

Says Betancur is Giro’s strongest climber

Colombian cycling legend Fabio Parra has called on his compatriots to join forces in an “alliance of all the Colombians” at the Giro d’Italia in order to increase their chances of winning a stage, a jersey and even the overall classification. In a series of messages posted on Twitter, Parra said that such an alliance could even result in Sky’s Rigoberto Urán taking the maglia rosa off the shoulders of race leader Vincenzo Nibali.

The 53-year-old Parra, who in 1988 became the only Colombian to finish on the podium of the Tour de France, addressed a series of messages to Sky’s Urán and Sergio Henao, Ag2r’s Carlos Betancur, Lampre’s José Serpa (@Jrserpa01), and Team Colombia’s Fabio Duarte, Jarlinson Pantano and Darwin Atapuma. He told them that by working together they could aspire to stage wins in the mountain stages to Val Martello and Tre Cime de Lavaredo, as well as in the Mori-Polsa mountain time trial.

“With three days in the mountains, good weather, sun and a Colombian alliance there is even the possibility of Rigoberto Urán winning Giro d’Italia,” said Parra of the race’s three penultimate stages. “Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (sic) are days for a Colombian victory. You have to take advantage of the mountains.” Parra later added: “A stage win, overall win or jersey success requires an alliance of all of the Colombians in the Giro.”

Parra described Betancur as “the best climber in the Giro d’Italia. He showed that today on the mythical Galibier. We will see him in contention for this race in the future.”

Betancur admitted in the wake of Urán’s stage win at the Altopiano del Montasio that he had not chased after his compatriot because the Colombians have an understanding between each other if one of them has a chance of success. The 23-year-old Colombian took the best young rider’s white jersey from Saxo-Tinkoff’s Rafal Majka on the Galibier on Sunday as he moved up to seventh overall. Urán currently lies third, 2-46 down on race leader Nibali.

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