The new U23 world champion Fabio Duarte of Colombia had two goals this season, to become U23 world champion and to buy a house. Now one leads to the other, as he received financial aid in Colombia, following his road race win in Italy on Friday.
At a press conference in Bogotá it was announced that Duarte will receive as a prize for his efforts the amount necessary towards buying a house. "I didn't hope for [the win] and now I am very happy. I fulfilled two dreams this year!" Duarte said, according to soitu.es.
He accomplished his first dream last Friday when he won the U23 road race with a late attack. He beat Italian favourite Simone Ponzi and German John Degenkolb with his gutsy move. "I am proud to have raced against a strong guy like Simone Ponzi. To be honest, the last few metres of the race I no longer knew what was going on, I was so focused on ... winning. Then I saw him [Ponzi] get so mad, and rightfully so – after all it was 'his' country."
Duarte remembered that the race started out very fast. Then, after everybody had a feel for the course, the attacks started. "The Italians, the French, the Swiss, everybody," Duarte said. "But the good preparation I did in Colombia with different coaches was very good."
The Colombian added that he was seeking to be in a break right from the start. "In the first break we were eight. Then the climb made the selection. Lap by lap we lost a rider. Finally, I was the only one of those who started in the break who also was there in the end [Ponzi and others had bridged up later - ed.] So I decided to attack on the climb, which was three kilometres in length."
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