Colombian cycling has changed. The latest events with the best riders in the country have put an end to a clear objective: to fight for the title in major competitions.
This Sunday ends Italy spin and since before the start of the race there was talk that the goals were to achieve partial victories and finish in the top 10, it is normal. It is what it is.
(Einer Rubio: best Colombian in the Giro d’Italia, dramatic time trial) (Piqué and Clara Chía: the big problem they staged in a jewelry store)
without the greats
Not long ago, they fought from handlebar to handlebar for the general classifications with the greats, now they are looking for entry to a ‘top’ 10, which is not easy.
Egan Bernal he had an accident in January 2022, he was almost left in a wheelchair and could even die and he is trying to recover the pedal stroke with which he won the 2019 Tour de France and the 2021 Giro.
Nairo Quintanachampion of the 2014 Giro, of the 2016 Vuelta a España and three times podium in the Tour de France, violated the regulations of the International Cycling Union (UCI), after in this last test of 2022 in two of his analyzes found him tramadol, he was disqualified from it and has no team.
The name of Miguel Angel Lopezz appears in a court in Cáceres (Spain), which is investigating the doping plot, Operation Ílex, of the use and distribution of prohibited drugs, which forced him to leave the elite.
With the three stars out of action in the World Tour (WT), Colombia has placed its aspirations in men like Santiago Buitrago, Einer Rubio, Sergio Higuita, Daniel Martínez and a Rigoberto Urán that he is closer to retirement to perform well, but it is clear that they do what they can and are not at the same level as Egan, Nairo or López to fight the greats.
That is why the results have been normal and correspond to what can be achieved, without balloons, with our feet on the ground. Without going any further, nobody said that Buitrago and Rubio were going to fight for the Giro title or go for the podium, and that happened.
Even if they continue to be protagonists in the races, not fighting for the first places in the classifications confirms that the non-presence of the three great cyclists of the moment in the outposts is the main cause of ‘getting out of the ring’.
The last time a Colombian was on the podium of a big one was in the 2021 Giro, when Bernal won.
Last year the season was saved with the titles in the World Tour of Sergio Higuita (Tour around Catalonia) and Daniel Martínez (Basque Country), the stage of Santiago Buitrago in the Giro and that of Urán in the Back to Spainbut aspirations to win, none.
The problem is increased because the Tadej Pogacar, Remco Evenepoel, Jonas Vingegaard and Primoz Roglic they are above everyone, even one step above Egan, Nairo and López, to tell us lies.
And this year in the WT no title has been achieved, there is only one podium, that of Buitrago
in the Liège-Bastogne-Liège, third.
The loot of 2023
Five stage victories on the circuit are adjusted: Juan Molano and Rubio on the UAE Tour, Fernando Gaviria in the Tour of Romandie. Higuita in the Basque Country and Rubio and Buitrago in the Giro.
Yes, everything is a process. Rubio is 24 years old and Buitrago 23, but at that point, for example, Bernal and Nairo had already managed to appear ahead in the generals.
Even so, Colombia is seventh in the ranking of victories in the year, it is still stuck in those privileged places with 25 wins.
Higuita and Martínez did not defend the 2022 titles, they got sick and in the remainder of the season, very much by the way, they hope to save the year.
(Video: Lewis Hamilton: this is how he ‘flew’ his car in the accident he had in Monaco)
Editor of EL TIEMPO
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