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The Colombia team at the start of Roma Maxima
Edwin Avila makes returns after successful track world championships
With a wildcard place assured for May's Giro d'Italia, Team Colombia's preparation for the first grand tour of 2014 continues with two races this week. Claudio Corti’s team have had a run of solid performances over the last few weeks and continue their European odyssey at Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali and then the ASO's Critérium International.
Having recently won another world championships on the track, Edwin 'El Kalimeno' Avila will make his return to the road at the Italian race while fellow track specialist Juan Esteban Arango also returns. Avilla's last race for Colombia was at the Tour de San Luis.
Also in the line-up will be five riders who have shown their good form recently and will be looking to give their very best in the Italian stage race: Miguel Angel Rubiano, Jarlinson Pantano, Juan Pablo Valencia, Carlos Julian Quintero and Duber Quintero.
On the weekend, the Escarabajos will set sail for Corsica with the two day, three-stage Criterium International to take place. The team have also been invited by ASO to partake in La Flèche Wallonne and makes its debut at Liège - Bastogne - Liège.
"To be selected for a Monument classic like Liege-Bastogne-Liege obviously marks another milestone in the history of our team. It's one of the greatest races in the World, and we can't wait to show the Colombian colours at La Doyenne," Corti said.
First though, the team will make their third participation at the event which was won by Team Sky's Chris Froome last year although his team was not invited to the 2014 edition of the race.
Team for Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali (March 27-30): Juan Esteban Arango, Edwin Avila, Jarlinson Pantano, Carlos Julian Quintero, Duber Quintero, Miguel Angel Rubiano and Juan Pablo Valencia.
Team for the Critérium Internationa (March 29-30): Edward Diaz, Fabio Duarte, Leonardo Duque, Darwin Pantoja, Jonathan Paredes, Jeffry Romero and Rodolfo Torres.