It will be Team Colombia to inaugurate the 97th edition of the Giro d’Italia on Friday May 9th: the Escarabajos were drawn to top the starting list of the 21,7 km team time trial in Northern Ireland’s capital Belfast, where the official teams presentation took place today in a Donegall Square full of people and enthusiasm.
Miguel Angel Rubiano proudly showed his Colombian National Champion’s jersey when closing the Escarabajos’ row, coming out of Belfast’s city hall at 18.36 GMT and joined on the stage by Sports Directors Valerio Tebaldi and Oscar Pellicioli and by the Colombian Consul in Republic of Ireland, Mr. Juan Pablo Gutierrez.
After the presentation, the team’s attention immediately refocused on what’s next, as tomorrow is when the real business starts. The Team Time Trial will move from Titanic Belfast to end once again in Donegall Square, on a quite technical route inside Belfast, that could become even more tricky, should the weather forecasts predicting rain be proven right.
“It will be nice to be the first team on the route, getting all the attention and focus from cycling fans from all around the World – Miguel Angel Rubiano said – and I truly hope this draw will bring good luck to the team for both tomorrow and the rest of the Giro.”
On his part, Claudio Corti recalls an episode from the past, and related with Colombian cycling as well; “It’s not the first time one of my teams gets a Grand Tour started, and we were in Great Britain that time too: it was the start of the 2007 Tour de France in London, and a Team Barloworld rider was the first down the ramp. That Tour de France ended with a happy memory for us – Mauricio Soler wearing the polka-dot jersey in Paris – and hopefully it will be a good sign this time too.”
Tomorrow morning, Team Colombia will go on recognition on the race route, and then it will get ready for 17.50 GMT, when it will be called to write the first lines of the 97th Corsa Rosa’s history.