Colombia’s pro-cycling team Colombia Coldeportes is hoping to get a spot on the 2013 Tour de France, reported cycling website Velonation on Thursday.
The Colombian team was excited at Wednesday’s unveiling of the route for the 100th Tour which this year is particularly hilly, including a double ascent of the dreaded L’Alpe d’Huez, an 8.5 mile climb at an average 7.9% with a massive 21 hairpin bends.
The Colombians are not put off however by the prospect of having to face this climb twice in one day. “I dream of taking part in this race,” said team member Esteban Chaves, who described it as “one of the mythical climbs of the Tour de France.”
The team’s general manager Claudio Corti said, “the route is great… Four uphill finishes and plenty of other big mountains will give climbers the chance to shine.”
Chaves, 22, who won last year’s Tour de l’Avenir is one of the next great hopes for Colombia, along with Fabio Duarte, the under 23 world champion. The last Colombian to win a stage at the Tour de France was Mauricio Soler in 2007 who also scooped the King of the Mountains prize.
Soler suffered a brain injury from a crash in last year’s Tour de Suisse and has retired from cycling, but his countrymen are ready to take up their bikes and join the chase for the yellow jersey, and are hoping that the Tour’s officials will see fit to invite them to join the gruelling test of endurance.