Some races suit Colombian riders. In recent years, Tour de San Luis and Langkawi have been particularly well suited to Colombian climbers who, unlike their European compatriots, have been training through the non-existant Andean winter. The race has also been good to Colombian sprinters, as Fernando Gaviria has shown.
The latest example of this is Dayer Quintana, Nairo's brother, who won this year's Tour de San Luis. His brother, sore from a crash, served as his super domestique on the last mountain stage, and softened their fellow Colombian rival, Atana's Miguel Angel Lopez (winner of the 2014 Tour de l'Avenir, another race that has been good to Colombians in the past). Nairo did a bit of work for his brother at last year's Colombian national road championships, though that attempt didn't pan out. Not that Dayer needs his brother by his side, he's won races without him before. But it will be interesting to see how and when their brotherly relationship is on full display. Much was made of Wiggins leading out Cavendish wearing yellow, and Armstrong fetching bottles for Peña back in the US Postal days. In those cases, the bond was little more than friendship and the colors on sublimated lycra fabric. What is possible from these two will be interesting to see.
Speaking of Dayer, remember when I wrote about him unwillingly becoming a police officer due to a contract that he signed with a cycling team?
And speaking of the Tour de l'Avenir, remember when I wrote about the first Colombian to win the race, and the sad story behind his death?
As a new season kicks off, news outlets are publishing photo galleries of this year's new pro bikes. Those galleries are interesting, but it's obvious that decisions are largely made by the sponsors, which is completely understandable. But an old gallery by James Huang on Bike Radar, which shows Andy Hampsten's then-current ride got me thinking: I think it would be far more interesting to see galleries of retired pro's bikes. Especially those who (like Hampsten) still ride a lot, and build up their bikes with whatever suits them.
Speaking of Andy Hampsten, remember when I interviewed him about racing in Colombia and with Colombians?
Many in Colombia have long argued that the climbing speeds and power to weight ratios on display at the top of the general classification in races like the Vuelta a Colombia are, to use Antoine Vayer's phrase, not normal. These comments are largely based around data from uphill time trials, like the one commonly used in Medellin's famed Las Palmas climb. The numbers have led many to wonder how well the likes of Quintana and Froome would do in a race like the Vuelta a Colombia. Well, luckily, the president of Colombia's cycling federation answers this question in this recently published interview. His answer certainly makes the scenario he puts forth come off as though it's a good thing. Oh my.
Why not think about a different time of year [for the Vuelta a Colombia]?
No, because the majority of World Tour and Pro-Continental teams are scared of coming to the Vuelta a Colombia. They know that the majority of them couldn't even be in the top 10 here, and they would be made to look like fools. It's something they want to avoid.
Speaking of World Tour riders racing in Colombia, it looks like Uran, Quintana, Pantano and many others won't compete in the national championships, since the federation changed the date of the race only a few weeks beforehand, and most of the country's top riders will be in Europe during the new date. Perhaps some of the best riders in the world are also afraid of doing this race, since they won't be in the top ten? With this change, the race will go back to what it has been almost every single year except for the last: one where the best riders in the country can't compete due bad scheduling.
Lastly, sorry to end on a crass commercial note, but remember that pretty much the whole store is on sale, and that once these items are gone they will be gone forever and ever. Amen.