Darwin Atapuma (Colombia Coldeportes) celebrates his stage win atop the snowy Passo Pordoi.
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Team looks for success in opening mountain stages
The Pro Continental squad Team Colombia today announced its roster for the 70th Tour de Pologne, July 27-August 3, the third WorldTour event of the season to which the team has received a wild card invite.
The Tour de Pologne has extra significance for Team Colombia as the first two stages take place in the Italian Dolomites on roads and climbs where the team has already had success.
Stage 2 of the Tour de Pologne, 206.5km from Marilleva Val di Sole to Passo Pordoi, concludes on the same mountain finish where Colombia's Darwin Atapuma climbed to victory in the final stage at the 2012 Giro del Trentino and the 25-year-old is eager to duplicate the result.
The Tour de Pologne makes history this year as the foray into Italy is the event's first time that stages take place outside of Poland. Additionally, the Tour de Pologne will see teams of only six riders, instead of the usual eight, as the WorldTour experiments with smaller teams.
Joining Atapuma on Team Colombia's six-man roster is Fabio Duarte, the former U23 road race world champion who will look to start a successful second half of the season after a lengthy break from racing following the Giro d'Italia. Robinson Chalapud and Carlos Julian Quintero, who along with Atapuma and Duarte spent a training period in Colombia prior to the Tour de Pologne, look forward to the hillier stages, while Leonardo Duque and Jeffry Romero will seek opportunities in the stages for the sprinters.
"After a break, the guys who rode the Giro are ready to restart" said directeur sportif Valerio Tebaldi. "The Trentino stages are certainly suited to our characteristics. The Pordoi finish gave us a huge joy last year with Atapuma's victory, even though this time Darwin will face it out of a rest break. Duarte is also coming back, and will look for opportunities in undulating stage, while Chala, Quintero and Duque will try to get in the mix in breaks."
Team Colombia roster for Tour de Pologne:
Darwin Atapuma (Col), Robinson Chalapud (Col), Fabio Duarte (Col), Leonardo Duque (Col), Carlos Julian Quintero (Col), Jeffry Romero (Col)