04 August 2017
The New Squadron of Colombian Climbers
“It’s a very good team from Colombia. In Colombia, the level is very high at the moment and you have to be very good to win a selection. We will line-up as favorites.”
This is not a prediction, but the opinion of Hector Urrego, the “historic” journalist of Colombian cycling who knowns everything about the story of the South American climbers. His view is to be taken into consideration.
Egan Bernal, 20 years old, is the most promising of the new squadron of Colombian climbers. Coming from mountain biking, where he won a silver and a bronze medal at the World Juniors, he was enlisted at age nineteen by Italian manager Gianni Savio in the team Androni – Sidermec with no real references on the road but on his assumed qualities. Fourth of the Tour de l’Avenir last year, he returns with new experience gained amongst the pros. Victory is a major objective of his season, which already has a success in France: a significant win at the Tour de Savoie-Mont-Blanc. He has real talent, enough to catch Team Sky‘s eye for next year.
His partner from the Androni team, 20 year-old Ivan Ramiro; 22 year-old Wildy Sandoval (Boyaca), also from mountain biking, or Daniel Martinez, 21, a pro with Willier-Southeast, will be Egan’s main helpers in the mountains.
Two riders from the Colombian team Coldeportes – Zenu round up the selection: Cristian Munoz and Alvaro Hodeg, the team’s sprinter.
Colombia is very ambitious for this Tour de l’Avenir, hoping to sign a sixth victory to follow in the steps of Alfonso Florez (1980), Martin Ramirez (1985) and more recently Nairo Quintana (2010), Esteban Chaves (2011) and Miguel-Angel Lopez (2014), all of whom have become stars of world cycling.