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Sergio Henao (Sky) will aim to bounce back when the Vuelta a Espana returns to the mountains.
Colombian announces schedule for next season
Having ridden the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España for the past two seasons, Sergio Henao will make his debut at the Tour de France riding in support of Chris Froome. The Colombian climber who has returned home for Christmas following a Team Sky training camp on Majorca told Biciciclismo.com of his 2014 plans. Henao, who will also ride the Tour of the Basque Country and will lead the team in the Ardennes, will be a key domestique for Froome with Richie Porte targeting the Giro.
With Rigoberto Uran moving to Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Henao, who turns 26-years old today, has the opportunity to step up in his third season in Europe.
"The intention is to be at the Tour de France which is what I'm thinking about. My season will begin in Majorca and then I'm scheduled to race the Tour of Oman," Henao said.
"After that, it will be similar to last year's calendar with Tirreno-Adriatico, Tour of the Basque Country and then the Ardennes."
Henao explained that he will then take a break from racing to train on Tenerife, building form for the Criterium du Dauphiné and the Tour.
This year Henao had a breakout six months of racing but faded in the latter half of the season. He entered the Vuelta with aspirations of a top five finish but was derailed by a hunger knock.
"It’s true that last season I was not at the level I wanted to be in the second half. It was important to the team's confidence and everything is a learning experience for me," said Henao.
Henao has ridden Liège-Bastogne-Liège twice although it was at Amstel Gold and La Flèche Wallonne where he excelled this year, finishing sixth and second respectively.
Cousin Sebastian joins Team Sky in 2014 continuing the team's affiliation with the new generation of Colombians. While welcoming the opportunity to race with family, Henao said that he will miss Uran. "He is a good friend and always gave joy and harmony to the team," Henao said, adding that he now sees Uran as a "rival" on the road.