Astana's six-rider contingent for the upcoming Tour Colombia 2.1 got their first taste of Colombian roads as a group Saturday as they toured the countryside around Boyacá, a training spot for the European teams ahead of the race.
Director Stefano Zanini joined Jan Hirt, Nikita Stalnov, Davide Villella and Colombians Hernando Bohórquez, Rodrigo Contreras and Miguel Ángel López on the short trip around the center of Boyacá.
Astana is the first of the race's six WorldTour teams to arrive in the country, with Team Sky and Chris Froome expected to arrive today (Sunday). The Team Sky roster will also feature 2018 Oro y Paz champion Egan Bernal, Iván Sosa, Sebastián Henao, Jonathan Castroviejo and Jhonatan Narváez.
Tour Colombia 2.1 starts February 12 with a 14km time trial in Medellin. Stage 2 sees the peloton take on a 150.5km circuit race in Le Ceja, followed by the 167km stage 3 circuit race in Llanogrande. The peloton will take on a 144km circuit race in Medellin for stage 4, followed by the 176.8km fifth stage in La Union. The race concludes with a 173.5km Queen stage that finishes atop Alto las Palmas.
López, Contreras and Bohórquez will also be competing in Colombia's road championships February 1-3 in Villavicencio but will return to Boyacá on February 9 and then travel to Medellin to prepare for the start of Tour Colombia 2.1.
Astana for Tour Colombia 2.1: Hernando Bohórquez, Rodrigo Contreras, Jan Hirt, Miguel Ángel López, Nikita Stalnov, Davide Villella.