Colombia is represented by four cyclists in the Italy spinwho today faces his second day, and one of them, Santiago Buitrago, He is making his second participation, his 2023 has been very good and he hopes to repeat what he has done this year in this, his second opportunity in this competition.
Buitrago comes from being 12th overall in the Giro last year, winning a stage in the final in Lavarone, after 168 kilometers.
(Rigoberto Urán and Santiago Buitrago: a very good start in the Giro d’Italia) (Shakira and Piqué, ‘again together’, protagonists of another success, video)
The very clear
He is 23 years old and in the first instance he will have to help them Damiano Caruso and Jack Haig for the fight for the general classification, but the man from Bogotá will have some freedom to make his career.
His season has been very good. He has played five competitions and in three of them he has been on the podium: he was third in the Saudi Tour, in the Tour of Andalusia and the classic Liège-Bastoña-Liège‘La dean’, the oldest cycling competition in the world, and that gives it a hit.
His team, Bahrain, suffered a great loss, that of Gino Mader, who due to covid.-19 will not be able to be there, but that opens the possibility for Santiago Buitrago to appear. TIME talked to him.
What do you analyze about this Giro?
I am very motivated. It will be a difficult three weeks and we arrive in good condition. You have to go and enjoy, give your best, for me, for the team. The work is done and the results have to come.
What in your goal?
Help the team leaders Caruso and Haig move up the overall standings, but I’ll have a bit more of a free role. What can be achieved will depend on how the race is. It’s three weeks and you have to see how it goes day by day.
Are you going for the general or for a stage?
You have to see if after the first week you will fight for the general or fight in stages, before it is difficult, because the objectives are not so realistic.
“Roglic and Remco are not super humans, they are not aliens and they can be harmed.”
There is a lot of time trial…
Since last year we know what awaits us. We have been working on time trials, we have invested in aerodynamics, with special cases, a different material. Winning will be difficult, but the key is to minimize losses.
And in the mountains?
There are key stages. There are days with more than 5,000 meters of unevenness and damage can be done. Each week has special stages, but the third is the key.
How to defeat Roglic and Remco?
You have to take advantage of the opportunities. They are the big favourites, but they can be beaten. Primoz Roglic and Remco Evenepoel They are not super humans, they are not aliens, and they can be harmed.
In the Giro each team has its strategy. We have to put up a battle, we can’t go into this race thinking that we have to fight for third place. If that is the idea we lose. You have to fight for the victory of the Giro and you have to take advantage of the options you have.
What are the key stages?
Those of the third week. That one with end in Three Peaks of Lavaredo It is very difficult, there are 5,000 meters of unevenness and several mountain prizes. I like the time trial a lot and that will be the key. I would like to be close to winning in those days.
“Super happy with a ‘top’ 10 or a ‘top’ 5, they are realistic goals.”
What use is that third place in Liège to you in the Giro?
It’s a monument and getting on the podium in a race like that is important after what we’ve done this year, which is why I came to the Giro very motivated. I have less pressure than last year, because with what I have done this year I consider myself well served.
What confidence does what you did in 2022 give you?
That gives me peace of mind so I don’t feel that pressure, but that’s over now, this is a new Giro, a new challenge and I want to face it with greater determination, wanting to do it in the best way. I want to improve on last year and this year are new goals.
What would you be happy with?
Super happy with a ‘top’ 10 or a ‘top’ 5, they are realistic objectives. Winning a stage would be very good, it would be doing a splendid Giro.
Editor of EL TIEMPO