Tour Colombia 2.1 announced today that American Tejay van Garderen will compete in the South American race, joining his Colombian teammates Daniel Martinez and Sergio Higuita on the six-rider EF Pro Cycling roster.
Van Garderen's inaugural season for EF last year was a mixed bag. After a start at the UAE Tour in February, he was fourth in the individual time trial at Paris-Nice, wore the yellow jersey at the Tour of California for four days and was second overall at Criterium du Dauphine, but crashes cut short his Grand Tour attempts at both the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana.
Van Garderen's South American start for 2020 will mark a departure from his most recent seasons, when he's kicked things off in the Middle East or Spain. The 2020 Tour Colombia 2.1 will take place in the Boyacá region around Bogotá, with altitudes not dipping below below 2,500 metres for the week, so he'll be getting serious block of altitude training right from the go.
The 2020 Tour Colombia 2.1 begins Tuesday, February 11, with a 16.7km individual time trial, followed by a steady diet of moderately hilly road races before the finale on Sunday, February 16, when the race concludes with the climb of Alto del Verjón.
Team Ineos already announced a line-up that features Tour de France winner Egan Bernal, Giro d'Italia winner Richard Carapaz and Colombian climber Ivan Sosa, a formidable trio for a climb-heavy race at altitude. But EF's contingent of van Garderen, Higuita and Martinez, who was third last year behind Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) and Sosa, should, on paper at least, compete well.
The race also recently announced that Colombian Jhonatan Restrepo will lead the Italian Androni Giacattoli Pro Continental team. Other riders announced for the race include Deceuninck-QuickStep's Julian Alaphilippe, Bob Jungels and Alavaro Hodeg; UAE Team Emirates' Fabio Aru, Fernando Gaviria and Jan Polanc; and Arkea-Samsic's Winner Anacona. Colombian Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) will compete with the Colombian National Team.
Other teams expected for the race include Movistar, Israel Start-Up Nation, Rally Pro Cycling and Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè, among others.
Growing up in Missoula, Montana, Pat competed in his first bike race in 1985 at Flathead Lake. He studied English and journalism at the University of Oregon and has covered North American cycling extensively since 2009, as well as racing and teams in Europe and South America. Pat currently lives in the US outside of Portland, Oregon, with his imaginary dog Rusty.
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