The Colombia Coldeportes teams hopes to make its grand tour debut at the 2013 Giro d'Italia, with team manager Claudio Corti describing the route as "beautiful and “with plenty of opportunities for climbers.” The Italian-based Professional Continental team is hoping for a wildcard invitation to the race next year.
Corti, along with rider Johan Esteban Chavez and the Colombia vice-consul Carlos Molina, attended the Giro d'Italiav presentation on Sunday. Corti has already led three riders to victory in the Giro, Ivan Gotti in 1997, Gilberto Simoni in 2003 and Damiano Cunego in 2004, all with Saeco.
“With so many uphill finishes and big mountains, there’s a lot of terrain where my riders could help to make a spectacular race with their fighting attitude," Corti said in a press release from the team. "The big mountain stages are not exceedingly long, and many of the toughest stage finishes are placed at high-altitude – including the Galibier. I believe our team could hold its own in the race. Hopefully, we can get a place from RCS Sport.”
Colombia Coldeportes was invited to Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo and the Giro di Lombardia by RCS Sport but failed to land a wild card for the Giro d'Italia. The four places went to three Italian teams: Farnese Vini-Selle Italia, Colnago-CSF Inox andAndroni Giocattoli, and Team NetApp. The German team, which will ride under the name of NetApp-Enduro in the 2013 season, will be hoping for another chance to ride the Giro. It will face competition for the invitation from South African based MTN-Qhubeka, which is applying for Professional Continental status in 2013, as well as the Italian teams.
Chavez hoped that the invitation to attend the presentation would be followed by a wildcard invitation to the 2013 race.
“For me, being here is a very special experience. Of course, I have never taken part in the Giro, and I don’t really know many of the stages, but the profiles speak for themselves. It is tough to say which one could suit me best, but sure I would love to test it myself along with my Colombia Coldeportes’ teammates,” he said.