A lack of time trial kilometres in the 2015 Tour de France may have been of concern to some but for Team Colombia general manager Claudio Corti, the parcours is one he sees as favouring his team. The Pro-Continental outfit will need to receive a wildcard entry to appear in the race although Corti is confident recent signings of several new riders will help them make a debut at La Grande Boucle.
The 2015 Tour de France starts in Utrecht, the Netherlands, on Saturday July 4, with a 14km time trial stage. There is no final time trial before the finish in Paris on Sunday July 26. Instead the last battle for the yellow jersey will be on the 21 hairpins of L'Alpe d'Huez in the Alps on Saturday July 25, before the riders fly to Paris. The total race distance is 3344km divided into 21 stages.
The team time trial returns to the Tour in 2015 on stage nine with a 28km contre-la-montre between Vannes and Plumelec near the Brittany coast.
"We had heard of a climber-friendly Tour de France, but the route unveiled today actually surprised me," Corti said at the presentation in Paris, "and I believe the stages on the Alps are going to be amazing. We are so far away from 5 or 10 years ago, when time trialling always had a huge influence on the yellow jersey: I think a rider like [Nairo] Quintana will be smiling after today's presentation."
The team has competed in the last two editions of the Giro d'Italia but is yet to compete in eitherof the other two grand tours - the Tour and the Vuelta a Espana. The addition of new riders though will boost the teams ability to add more race days to its 2015 calendar as Corti explained.
"Like we said several times, we would love to get another nod at the Giro d'Italia and possibly add a second Grand Tour to our calendar, but we know how many ambitious Professional line-ups will be in the run for the wild cards in all of the three GTs," he said. "Right now, our priority is completing our line-up in the best possible way, and make a good preparation to hit the ground running in 2015: if we manage to do that, good things will follow."
The six new additions to the 2015 roster are Alex Cano Ardila , Fernando Pedraza Morales, Jorge Camilo Castiblanco Cubides, Jose Cayetano Sarmiento Tunarrosa, Carlos Mario Ramirez and Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides.