The Colombian event runs February 6-11 and has stages for sprinters and climbers, having attracted the cream of the Colombian cycling crop. Uran will be making his 2018 season debut at the race and will use the race to kick-start his Tour de France ambitions for this summer. The 31-year-old will be joined by Slipstream Sports stalwarts Alex Howes and Nate Brown, Hugh Carthy, Alex Howes, and Colombians Daniel Martinez and Julian Cardona.
Along with kick-starting his season, the race also marks a special event for Uran and Colombian cycling as a whole.
“I’m very happy because it’s the first time we’re going to do a race in Colombia. It’s been many years since we’ve raced in Colombia — approximately 11 years, and I’m really excited to find myself with the Colombian public again,” Uran said in team press release. “It’s beautiful and wonderful, and it’s going to serve Colombia well.”
Howes, who has spent his entire racing career within the Slipstream system, is excited about racing in South America, and supporting his team leader.
““I’m looking forward to helping Rigo put on a show for his home crowd. I’m also looking forward to improving my Spanish with three Colombians and an all Spanish-speaking staff down here.”
Accorinding to team boss Jonathan Vaughters the team arrive in Colombia without undue pressure on their shoulders, but the overall classification is an aim.
“The general classification is our focus in the race. Whether or not they can pull of the win or a podium remains to be seen. February in South America, the local racers are at their peak; it’s the peak of their season there. This race is their Tour de France, so Rigo comes in as a little bit of an outsider compared to his compatriots on the Continental-level teams. We’ll see.”