The Tour Colombia preview
Six stages take us through the Colombian Andes to Bogotá
Colombia is the beating heart of South American road cycling.
And its pulse will be racing on Tuesday when the first of six stages gets underway at the Tour Colombia. Our roster – Rigoberto Urán, Esteban Chaves, Richard Carapaz, Alexander Cepeda and Andrea Piccolo – is ready to take on the celebrated stage race.
Sport director Tejay Van Garderen knows that while the opening stages will be exciting, there is one stage in particular to watch out for. “It’s all going to come down to the summit finish on stage five, which is a climb Esteban knows very well because it’s 10 kilometers from his house,” he said. “He’s going to be very motivated.”
In fact, the entire squad is motivated. “We’ve obviously got some strong Ecuadorian riders with Carapaz and Cepeda coming from their national championships and having good performances there. And of course, Rigo is Rigo so between any one of those guys, we have a lot of options,” Tejay said.
Hear from each of our riders ahead of the Tour Colombia.
Colombia is so nice. The people are so kind and friendly and they make you feel happy. I’ve been here since the beginning of January and I never imagined I’d train as well here as I have. The time passes so quickly when you’re happy and training so I’ve really liked it here. I like Colombia a lot. I feel really good about my preparation. We are here with a good team. We will certainly enjoy this week at the race.
We want to race well here. We have a good team. For me, it’s nice to race in Colombia because it’s not something our team gets to do often, so we want to have a good race here. The route is good and we have a strong team. We are racing with five riders but the team is still strong. I hope that everything turns out well. We have prepared well and trained well for this.
The race gets closer to Bogotá, my hometown, with each stage. More than that, the first climb I did in my life is the climb where we finish on stage five. So that’s pretty special. And it’s special for me to race in my hometown. We don’t often have this opportunity and I’m pretty happy that the race is back. It’s exciting for me. I feel a lot of emotions for all of this. At the team presentation, the energy of the public and the people is really high. That also can make you feel pressure, but in a good way. Pressure is good. If you can focus that in a good way, the result can be awesome and beautiful and we hope this week will go like that.
I’ve had a couple of really nice days racing in my country and that was exciting. I wanted to defend the jersey but the circuit didn’t turn out to be right for me. But for this week here in Colombia, I will have a lot of opportunities and I want to take advantage of them to the maximum. Hopefully we can leave this race as champions because we have a good team and we are going to fight so that we can be champions.
This is my first time doing the Tour Colombia. I am very happy and very excited. I’m back in Colombia now after five years away. In 2019 I was here with an old team so I feel right at home. I am so looking forward to starting. My personal goals are to support the team and if it turns out that I get an opportunity, I would love to try to win a stage. No matter what, I am here to help the team. We have a great team here and I know we’re going to really enjoy this great race.