Colombian cycling lives a truth of a fist. Although there are good cyclists in Europe, that there are others in the process of maturing, but there are some who have not endured the ‘hard rhythm’ on that continent and have had to return leaving behind the illusion of winning stages, of a general victory and a good contract.
They have had the option of going to look for new horizons, but they have not ‘given the joke’ and they have had to pack their suitcases and catch a plane to Colombia.
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Rigoberto Urán It exploded recently and made reference to the fact that some cyclists from the country go to Europe and return early
“The reality is that we don’t have a good cyclist in Colombia. There is nothing. I don’t know what’s going on,» he said.
And he added: “Many cyclists have left for Europe, but they can’t last one or two years. I have had the opportunity to carry out several and they do not adapt and they return them, ”said Urán.
The cyclists themselves respond
In 2023, 15 Colombian riders appeared in World Tour teams, the highest category, out of 20 that were present last year. The lowest national quota in the WT in recent years was in 2017, when there were 14 riders in the category, but on this occasion no Colombian cyclist was hired for this season.
TIME They spoke with several cyclists from the country who have had the opportunity to show themselves in the best cycling in the world, but due to different circumstances they have had to return.
The lack of adaptation, the difference in the way of running, training, adherence to a rigid discipline and even the language are some of the inconveniences that have ruined their objectives.
Why do they come back?
«One in Europe has to be more disciplined in every way, even to fix a suitcase.»
“I couldn’t with that potentiometer thing. I had never entered with that follow-up and mentally I could not. There are other circumstances that are difficult, the differences between the two cycles are very big. Here in Colombia you don’t work to go running in Europe, that’s why when you go it’s hard. Here you compete on wide roads, not there, they are narrow, with ups and downs and you get to pick up the pace over the competition,» he said. juan diego albawho was in the Movistar team from 2020 to 2022 and then moved to Drone Hoper.
«One in Europe has to be more disciplined in everything, from fixing a suitcase.»
Miguel Eduardo Florez He spent only two years with Arkea-Samsic, but first he was part of Androni, with whom he found himself taking part in the Giro d’Italia.
«One in Europe has to be more disciplined in every way, from fixing a suitcase, going through appointments in the dining room to complying with the strict rules that there are and some do not like that, it is difficult for them,» said the boyacense cyclist.
And he added: “For some it is difficult to change that ‘chip’. It takes time, one or two years for that. Here in Colombia you have to work better on the distances and routes of the stages, because there in Europe cycling is faster, more agile and not so relaxed”.
alejandro osorio made part of the team nippo vini fatini, then I pass the rural box English and built for three years with the bahrainWorld Tour team and from which he left due to various problems.
«They are very strict and that is sometimes difficult for you when you leave Colombia.»
“There were many differences with the technicians. I don’t speak English and there was a DT who did, but from the beginning he told me that he wouldn’t do it with me. That was a big barrier. I sure made mistakes. They are very strict and that is sometimes difficult for you when you go from Colombia. They demand too much,” said Osorio, 24.
“The change was very hard, really. You can’t assimilate everything in such a short time. I left due to differences. An example, I ate an ice cream and that is not allowed. Things like that. Racing in Europe is very different from how it is done here and you pay for that”, stated Osorio.
Hernando Bohorquez be part of the team astana between 2019 and 2020, he participated in the Tour of Spain, but returned to Colombia.
The 30-year-old runner from Boyacá said that the most difficult thing is to change, from one moment to another, the way of running.
“Conditioning with teams is different. The competitions, the way of training is different. There are races with a lot of wind there, here there are no fans. The weather is very cold and one is not used to it”, said the rider.
“It is not that it is so easy to adapt, but it is necessary to know what you are going to, leave behind here and get into Europe. The cyclist has to be disciplined wherever he is, where he runs and that weighs on some, ”he specified.
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