Jarlinson Pantano has confirmed that he will ride for the Trek-Segafredo team next season. Pantano’s IAM Cycling team is set to fold at the end of the year, and there had been speculation throughout the Tour de France that he would join Trek.
Speaking during a press conference in his hometown of Cali, Colombia upon his return from the Olympic Games, Pantano told the press that he would join Alberto Contador at the American outfit. Cyclingnews confirmed last month that Contador had signed a deal with Trek on the first rest day at the Tour.
“Next year, God willing, I change teams,” he said according to elcolombiano.com. “I have already signed a contract with Trek where Alberto Contador will be, and we will be a part of this team.”
It has been a busy summer for Pantano, who was one of the many to head to Rio for the Olympics following the Tour de France. The 27-year-old enjoyed a successful ride in France and was one of the most aggressive riders in the final two weeks. His persistence was rewarded with a hard-fought win ahead of Rafal Majka on stage 15.
Pantano was a late addition to the Colombian line-up in Rio, picked as a replacement for Nairo Quintana, who decided to rest instead of race as he tries to recover for a tilt at the Vuelta a Espana. He also enjoyed a stage win at the Tour de Suisse in what has been his most successful year to date. Pantano calls the whole experience a dream come true and he is still adjusting to the reality of it.
“It has not been easy to get to here, but I am very happy, it is like a dream,” he said. “I will adjust to it along with my family. To arrive in my country and to see these signs of affection that fills me with happiness and great pride, not only to represent my country Colombia but the Valle del Cauca [region] and Cali.
“Since I was a child I dreamed of being in the Tour de France, one day I watched the television, and I yearned to be there and today I can say that I have won a stage. There are people that have been riding the Tour for 10 years and have not been able to win. Thanks to God I have done it in two years.”
Pantano added that he hopes to use his success to help foster future Colombian talent with his own team. “Here there is a lot of talent, many youngsters and you have to work with them so that they can go further,” he explained. “I am working on a foundation project with the idea of helping them; it is something that I have always dreamed of.”
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