Botero: "Egan is the strongest, after Nairo and Superman"

The Antioqueño analyzed with AS Colombia the future of Colombian cyclists in the Tour de France. Dumoulin, Roglic and Bernal, his podium.


10 Colombian riders will be present at the 2020 Tour de France, the first major race of the year after the changes in the international cycling calendar due to the health emergency of COVID-19. La Grande Boucle will run from August 29 to September 20.

Santiago Botero, winner of three stages and champion of the mountain classification in 2000, spoke with AS Colombia and analyzed the participation of Colombian cyclists, ensuring that on paper they arrive very strong due to their results in the previous races. The Antioqueño, who will comment on the Tour de France on Caracol TV, is confident that they can give results, but sees Dumoulin and Roglic stronger.

"The Tour is given to be a great event due to the circumstances, due to the uncertainty that exists regarding the performance of the cyclists and the route, a route in which there is mountains from the beginning. There is no longer that absolute dominance of Ineos and There are other teams that are at its height such as the Jumbo, which you can take advantage of. The one with fewer times invites more to the battle, that first week without the typical flat stages where the teams go to control makes the race open and exposed to many surprises ", assured Botero.

Analysis by Santiago BoteroColombianos en el Tour: "If there are cyclists who arrive in good condition, they are Colombians. We have no doubt, we have seen it in the first competitions. They all arrive in very good condition. Height, age and everyone these points play in their favor and invite us to dream in the Tour de France ".

Egan Bernal: "Winning a Tour is winning a Tour, it is the most important and easy event it is not. There are other very strong riders, but it is a matter of being lucky not to have any ailment and that your team is at the level of the leader . There are many circumstances. Egan will always be fighting at my discretion, but there is no guarantee of anything. Egan has the conditions, the form, the mentality and the team, let's see if he is lucky enough ".

Nairo Quintana: "I see Nairo better than the previous year when he was at Movistar, that is clear. Although Arkéa is not as strong a team as Movistar, for the way he was competing in the other team to this one, it is a benefit for him. Now he feels more comfortable being more valued. All the runners have arranged themselves around him and no one is overshadowing him. At the Dauphiné he looked very good, we hope that the knee issue will be more preventive than a complex issue ".

Miguel Ángel López: "Superman is a runner who has been growing throughout the season. In Burgos we saw him a little short, but in the next one he improved and in the Critérium even more. You can see that he has taken shape. Tour is going to find that moment of lucidity to be able to look for triumphs. He is a rider who is in a very good moment of his sports career.Esteban Chaves: "Esteban is a very intelligent rider, he can read the race very well. We hope he has his legs. He has been improving and we are going to see if he reaches the Tour de France in good shape. He has a great team around him."

Rigoberto, Higuita and Martínez: "Rigo is improving and he will be a support for both Sergio Higuita and Daniel Felipe Martínez. Higuita is very clever and fast and can win stages, while Daniel Felipe must follow the same script that he applied in the Dauphiné and why not think about a position among the 10 accompanied by an experienced runner like Rigoberto. Rigo has that doubt that he is not 100%, but he has been improving after that serious accident, he knows how to measure himself very well. Education First can aspire to the title of the team classification ".

Top three in Colombia: "Egan may be the strongest, then Nairo may be and finally Miguel Ángel" .

Rival to beat: "From the point of view of the Colombians, the rivals to beat are those who specialize in the time trial because in the end there is a time trial combined with mountain, which even if they are climbers is not going to benefit them. One of the rivals is Roglic, although he has not been able to train due to the accident. Dumoulin seems to me to be one of the candidates, he seems to me to be a very dangerous runner ".

Stronger team: "The structure of the Jumbo is scary and that does not have Kruijswijk because he had an accident, but it will include Bennett for the mountains. It is the team that comes to fight Ineos that has been dominating for eight years. The Dutch are approaching him, while Ineos is betting on something more Latin with the inclusion of Carapaz and the departure of Froome and Thomas. It will be very interesting and very pleasant to watch from the strategy ".

Keys: "The surprise can occur in other stages that are not considered the queens. When the race is open, anything can happen. One always says that races are won in the last week, but they can also be lost in the first It is a matter of regularity and knowing how to lead the competition. This race will have an atypical route through the mountainous beginning, there are many circumstances that make the Tour de France take a turn ".

The final podium ?: "Dumoulin, Roglic and Egan are on my podium. Pinot can be there too, I'm going with those four. I hope I'm wrong and a Colombian wins it" .

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