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The Colombia team
Pro-Continental team planning new goals
Having raced the last editions of the Giro d'Italia, Team Colombia's general manager Claudio Corti announced the team's intention to race two grand tours in 2015 as the team embarks on a new cycle of planning and development.
Corti, along with the team's riders, are in Colombia planning for the upcoming season.
"The team's project had started with a 3-year cycle, ending in 2014," Corti said having held meetings with the team's institutional partners, starting with Coldeportes and Director Andres Botero.
"But I think there is a common intention to start a new one in 2015, to follow the path of a team that became very popular among Colombians while collecting a great deal of consideration in World Cycling at any stage, and is now ready to face two Grand Tours in a year: our goal will be to deserve another nod for the Giro d'Italia and make our debut at the Tour de France."
Having been founded in 2012, the team have raced Italian WorldTour events including Milan-San Remo, Tirreno–Adriatico and the Giro di Lombardia while several of its riders have gone onto sign for World Tour teams.
"In these three years, we took part in many of the greatest races in the World," Corti said. "Claiming our status as a professional, young and combative team. Our intention is to follow on this path to be at the start of cycling top-events with consistency and improve our results: in order to do so, we are looking to build up a bigger roster – no less than 20 athletes – while adding some non-Colombian athletes as well.
"After three years in the "big leagues", racing next to the most competitive teams in the World, our riders in first place realised what an upside staying close to foreign team and riders with different characteristics can bring, both in terms of personal growth, and team's performance."
The team's aim is another Giro appearance in 2015 and its first Tour appearance via a wildcard invitation. Corti explained that while Colombians excelled at the Giro with Nairo Quintana (Movistar) winning the overall, seeing just three Colombians line up for the Tour, including their former rider Darwin Atapuma (BMC), is a motivation to see his team line up in Utrecht next July.
"This is arguably the brightest moment in Colombian cycling history, so it is surprising to see so few Colombians in the biggest race in the World," Corti said.
"Honestly, we feel ready for the challenge. In 2015, with one more year of experience, more riders and some valuable additions, we will try to go for a wildcard for both Giro d'Italia and Tour de France."