Disappointing end to an impressive and eventful season for Colombian cyclists
Cycling greats amassed in Ponferrada, Spain for the UCI Road World Championships (September 21-28), for one of the last major races of the season.
Poland’s Michal Kwiatkowski claimed the coveted rainbow jersey, with Australian Gerrans hot on his heels, taking silver. Spain’s Valverde won bronze for the third year in a row.
Rigoberto Urán, recovering from asthmatic bronchitis, was the best placed of the Colombians. He stayed under the radar and achieved a respectable 27th place, although illness kept him out of the time trial.
Esteban Chaves was also very active throughout the race, although he fell well short in the end.
After crashing out of the Vuelta a Espana, Nairo Quintana will remain out of action until next season. However, doctors say the operation on his fractured shoulder has been a success.
Carlos Quintero put in a remarkable performance in this, his first World Championships, as part of the first breakaway group who battled the rain and fog to take a 15 minute lead on the pack.
He said, “I feel happy because I managed to do what I was required to, and really what I wanted to. Even after being caught by the bunch, I tried to spend my final energies in support of my teammates: I did my very best to deserve the trust Colombia put in me.”
In the Men’s Under-23 category, Norway’s 22 year-old Sven Erik Bystrom took the gold. However, the young Colombians demonstrated their potential with Bohorquez Sanchez taking seventh place and a noteworthy late attack from Fernando Gaviria Rendon on the final climb. Jaime Restrepo came ninth in the individual time trial.
Colombia will next be involved in the Giro di Lombardia on October 5.
In other news, the UCI chose Bergen in Norway ahead of Bogota, Innsbruck and Melbourne to host the 2017 Road Cycling World Championships.
By Arek Peryt