Santander will be the main protagonist of the Vuelta a Colombia in its edition number 68. The caravan will travel about 600 kilometers through the tracks of the land of the Chicamocha Canyon. In addition, the Santandereano Aristóbulo Cala aspires to repeat the title achieved in 2017.
When only five days to start the Tour of Colombia, everything is ready to receive the four fractions that will be played on the roads of Santander. In total there will be 13 stages, one more than those planned.
The competition will start next Sunday with a prologue through the streets of Pereira. Only until August 14 will enter Santander, when the eighth fraction, which will have a route of 208 kilometers between Tunja and Barichara.
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On 15 August, the race will begin in San Gil and end in El Picacho, by road to Cúcuta. There will be 147 kilometers that will pbad through Pescadero, Curos, Piedecuesta, Floridablanca, Bucaramanga and end with the hard climb to El Pichacho.
Stage 10 between Bucaramanga and Barrancabermeja, which will be held on Thursday, August 16, was not included in the initial journey. However, this year will go from 12 to 13 stages to be able to dispute this fraction. In total there will be 121 kilometers of travel.
On Friday, August 17, the caravan will leave Santander, when stage 11 is disputed. The trial will start in Barrancabermeja and end in Puerto Boyacá 221 kilometers later.
Santandereano will defend the title
Santandereano Aristobulo Cala is ready to defend the title won last year. Although he has not had a good year, after his fall in the Vuelta a Cundinamarca, the rider from El Hato will be the capo of the Strongman Bicycles Coldeportes team.
Luis Alfonso Cely, the Strongman technician, said that "Aristobulo is our only capo and we will work for him. If the race shows us a different situation we will look at which runners can take the reins, but at the start our capo is Cala. "
For Aristóbulo it will not be easy. This year he will have to face runners of the likes of Óscar Sevilla, Robinson Chalapud, Alex Cano, Fredy Montaña and Jonathan Caicedo. In addition, the North American Christopher Horner, champion of the Tour of Spain in 2013 will be present.
So far, the Colombian Cycling Federation has not released the list of registered cyclists. But it is expected that there will be at least six other local riders in the Vuelta a Colombia.
What is confirmed is that this year the event will be disputed by 20 teams: six Colombian continental, one foreign continental, 12 national and one Continental Professional
The last stage of the Vuelta, which will be held on August 19, will be a 100-kilometer circuit through the streets of Medellín.
This is the altimetry of the stages that will run in Santander:
– Tunja – Barichara: 208 kilometers
– San Gil – El Picacho: 147 kilometers
– Bucaramanga – Barrancabermeja : 121 kilometers
– Barrancabermeja – Puerto Boyacá: 221 kilometers