With over half the US Pro Cycling Challenge over, a quick look at the team competition is a victory for Colombia. Chapeau — or in this case, a sombrero vueltiao.
Virtual unknowns for most American cycling fans, the EPM team currently owns third place ahead of ProTour powerhouses Radio Shack and Leopard Trek. Not bad for a wild card mystery squad.
The Gobernacion de Antioquia team of DS Santiago Botero created a sensation at the recent Tour of Utah and has kept up their aggressive style in the Rockies of Colorado. With a miniscule operating budget and lacking even arm warmers and vests, the squad holds down sixth place in the team competition.
Again, that’s quite an accomplish when you’re riding strong enough to rank higher than Liquigas, HTC-Highroad or Rabobank.
A few eyebrows were raised when not one, but two Colombian teams made it onto the US Pro Cycling Challenge invitation list. Several American riders wondered aloud why a popular and successful outfit like Kelly Benefit was shut out while two South American squads made the big show.
Twisted Spoke is guessing that nobody is surprised any longer.