Gaviria 'motivated' for success in front of home crowd at Tour Colombia

UAE Team Emirates are hoping for a successful Tour Colombia 2.1 with home favourite Fernando Gaviria looking for stage wins, and fellow Colombian Sergio Henao going for the overall victory.

Gaviria has already got off the mark this season with two victories at the Vuelta a San Juan Internacional last week. The upcoming racing in Colombia should present Gaviria with three more opportunities to take stage wins, with stages 2,3 and 4 all looking like potential bunch sprints.

The race opens with a 14km time trial at 1,500m elevation and concludes with a mountain stage. So, the conditions are likely to favour the native Colombian riders such as Henao. Egan Bernal (Team Sky) was able to make the most of easily acclimatisating to the conditions as he took last year's inaugural Tour Colombia 2.1 title.

Alongside Colombian teammates Sebastian Molano and Cristian Muñoz are Tom Bohli and Oliviero Troia. And UAE Team Emirates general manager Matxin Joxean Fernandez believes they have a strong team for the race.

"The start of the season has been good for our team, with positive results achieved in Australia and in Argentina," Fernandez said.

"The aim is to lend continuity to these performances, first and foremost with Gaviria, in what will be a homeland race for him. Fernando will be especially motivated, and he will be able to count on the support of a great guy like Molano, who was his rival last year and who is now riding by his side.

"We have a top tier line-up and that should mean that we can stand out as major contenders, whether in the individual stages or in the general classification, for which we are counting on Henao."

The Tour Colombia consists of six stages and runs from February 12 – 17.

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