Contest winners announced (plus Colombian security guards and their bikes, Darwin Atapuma and more)

Donations and prizes
Without too long of an introduction (or any of my long-winded prose) I'd like to announce the winners of the Team Colombia contest, and thank everyone who sent donations. Onedin from Dreams To Wheels was floored by everyone's generosity. Not only because of the amount of boxes that were received, but also by the amazing goods that they contained. Thanks to all of you, and know that even if you didn't win, your donations will be put to good use, and will benefit kids in Colombia who appreciate your kindness.

The winners are:

Signed musette - T. Ferro
Signed musette - D. Hays
Signed cap - I. Crane
Signed water bottle - D. Fisher

I'll be contacting each of you directly to double check your mailing address, and your prizes will be shipped out to you over the next few days. Thanks again to everyone who donated.

By the way, if you're wondering how the winners were picked, I assigned each donor name a number, then generated four winning numbers through this site, with each winner getting a prize based on order (first winner was was a musette, second also a musette, third a cap etc).

The world championships through the lens of Juan Felipe Rubio
Thanks to La Cadenilla for sending these shots of the World Championships. They were taken by Colombian photographer Juan Felipe Rubio.

Aside from these shots of the world championships, Rubio has an interesting and ongoing project in Colombia. In it, he photographs people with their bikes. Some of the people portrayed are (for lack of a better way of putting it) so thoroughly Colombian, that the shots begin to gain greater meaning for someone like me. For example, these very the typical Colombian security guards, along with their trusty steeds.

Aside from thanking the blog La Cadenilla for sending me the world championship pictures, I should also be thankful for an interview the blog had with Darwin Atapuma. In it, Atapuma (who will ride for BMC next year) details the trouble with payments that Team Colombia riders experienced. This is something that had been rumored, but is only now being talked about openly. I've translated a brief portion of the interview (with permission). See below.

Photo: Manual For Speed
This brings up a difficult subject. You and your teammates reached out to me a few weeks back in order to get the word out regarding a situation that had all of you worried: the lack of payment of your salaries by Team Colombia, which you had not received in three months. What happened, and how was the matter finally resolved? 
Claudio told us that there had been some problems in Colombia. We all know that when it comes to payments from the Colombian government, there are always delays. In the end, two of the three payments were made to riders, so we are almost up to date. It was difficult for us, because being three months behind in our income is tough. But now that we've been paid, we're happy. I hope the team continues for next year, and that these problems can be solved. 

Understood Darwin, so you are still owed for one month. What month, August?
Yes, it's the one month. August. Exactly. 

And you'll be paid by Team Colombia until when, September?
No, until December. I have a contract for one full [calendar] year. In January, I will be with BMC.
 And another interesting exchange, this one about doping in Colombian cycling

Why is that that doping is so ingrained in Colombian cycling? In a post-Lance Armstrong world, what is happening here in Colombia?
It's tough. In Colombia what happens, as I see it, is that samples are taken, but they never make it to a lab. I think the solution would be to do things as they are done in Europe: all the samples are taken to to a lab and are tested individually and analyzed. That way, no one can get away with taking something, but not being caught. So I think that's what's necessary, take samples, and give each their own analysis. I think that would start to create a culture of clean cycling in Colombia.

Helping Club Correcaminos

You may have seen the video above on this blog before. It's about the great Club Correcaminos in the town of El Retiro (one of the clubs that I've sent donations to). A Cycling Inquisition reader in Australia will be donating two mountain bikes that he owns to the club, but could use your help raising funds to send the bikes to Colombia. If you can help, you can find out more here.