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Colombian federation hopes to secure charter flight to take riders to Tour de France

Egan Bernal (Team Ineos)
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The Colombian Cycling Federation has asked the government for permission to secure a charter flight to bring its professional riders to Europe ahead of the start of the revised UCI road season.

The Colombian government moved to ban all international flights through August 31 amid the coronavirus pandemic, yet the Tour de France is due to start on August 29. Riders were hoping to get special dispensation from the government to travel. 

Defending champion Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) and hopefuls Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) and Rigoberto Urán (EF Pro Cycling) are among those who would need special permission to leave the country.

Oscar Sevilla's Team Medellín squad is also hoping to be able to leave Colombia to compete in the races on their updated calendar: the Tour of Qinghai Lake, starting July 26 and the Volta a Portugal starting July 29.

Team director José Julián Velásquez told Zikloland, "(Monday) I received a pleasant call from the president of the Colombian Cycling Federation. He is applying for special permits with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with the Ministry of Sport to seek the possibility of a charter flight for all cyclists who have to travel to Europe in July.

"Because there are many cyclists, the case of Egan, Nairo, Rigo, who have to go to the Tour in July. We will go on this same flight to then go on to our respective competitions."