|Photo: Manual For Speed|
Almost four years ago to the day, I started Cycling Inquisition. At the time, I wasn't really sure where the blog would be going (perhaps best indicated by the awful name I chose for it). Colombian cycling in 2009 was completely different from what it is today. Rigoberto Uran was finishing his second year at Caisse d'Epargne. He showed promising abilities, but interestingly enough was one of only a handful of Colombian riders in Europe. Mauricio Ardila was still with Rabobank, Felix Cardenas and Mauricio Soler were with Barloworld, while Jose Serpa was already racing with Selle-Italia-Diquigiovanni. That was pretty much the extent of Colombian cycling in Europe. Today, things are clearly very different. World Tour teams are interested in young Colombian talent, as riders like Henao and Uran lead major teams in grand tours. What a difference four years make.
Like many other fans, I continuously compare the current generation of Colombian riders to that of the 1980s, and the great things they accomplished. But after this season, I think it's fair to say that the current crop of Colombian talent can clearly stand on their own. Their accomplishments are as impressive (if not more so) than those from the past. They are also occurring in a completely different time and climate in the sport, so while it's understandable that the two eras will be compared, it's obvious that they each have their merits, while remaining forever linked in the eyes of many.
With that in mind, I want to share the following documentary with you (it's where the quote at the top of this post comes from). Sadly for many of you, it's in Spanish, but I think English speakers may still enjoy watching bits and pieces of it (I considered subtitling it, as I've done with shorter videos in the past, but it simply would have taken too long). It's called "...and we made it to Paris", and it recounts the beginning of Colombian cycling in Europe (the Tour in particular), with first hand accounts about the first Tour appearances of teams like Varta, Cafe de Colombia and Postobon. The documentaryis not perfect, but is the only one of its kind, and features enough interesting interviews to make it worthwhile. Note the interview at 29:30. In how many places would you see the primary sports journalist from the biggest newspaper in the country cry and get this choked up due to the mere memory of a stage win that happened back in 1985? Colombian cycling may very well be more aligned with its European and American counterparts today than it was then, but our love for the sport remains perfectly Colombian to this day. And thank god for that.
Winter and summer caps are back in stock. They are selling rather quickly, so make sure you order if you're in the market for one of these.
Also remember that you can win items signed by Team Colombia by donating cycling goods to needy kids in Colombia. You can find out how here.