Buoyed from the performance of Jarlinson Pantano in Saturday's Strade Bianche, Colombia-Coldeportes team manager Claudio Corti has said his team is ready to step up again at its WorldTour debut in Tirreno-Adriatico.
Pantano's 12th place finish was impressive for the Colombian outfit, holding his own against several better known names including former world champion Alessandro Ballan and Philippe Gilbert.
General manager Claudio Corti and sports directors Valerio Tebaldi and Oscar Pellicioli took their time to carefully evaluate their riders’ conditions after the race, but they are confident to have found the right eight rider mix to defend the team’s colours at the “Corsa dei Due Mari”.
"We know we are facing a very tough race, with so many strong and qualified opponents," said team manager Claudio Corti. "But we are determined to show off and deserve our invitation to this very important and prestigious race.”
The Colombian outfit promised to live up to expectations. "We are climbers," Corti continued. "So we’ll be obviously focusing on the most demanding stages, such as Chieti’s and Prati di Tivo’s uphill finish, and I expect my riders to be up front and head-to-head with the strongest riders in the pack. Nevertheless, we’ll be aggressive and trying to be protagonists every other day – just like we did at Saturday’s ‘Strade Bianche’. We showed there we have the grit and determination required."
Corti has taken his A-team to Tirreno-Adriatico, with Pantano joined by the experienced Felipe Laverde, and young prospects Esteban Chaves and Fabio Duarte.
Colombia-Coldeportes team for Tirreno-Adriatico: Darwin Atapuma (Col), Robinson Chalapud (Col), Esteban Chaves (Col), Fabio Duarte (Col), Felipe Laverde (Col), Wilson Marentes (Col), Jarlinson Pantano (Col) and Victor Hugo Peña (Col)