The Continental groups within the Tour Colombia peloton are dotted with faces acquainted from the WorldTour. Race chief Rodrigo Contreras had stints at QuickStep and Astana. His Nu Colombia teammate Sergio Henao gained Paris-Good in 2017. Giro d’Italia stage winner Jonathan Caicedo is right here with Mexican squad Petrolike.
For many, the prospect of returning to the WorldTour appears a distant one, and in some circumstances, it isn’t even an ambition in any respect. Alejandro Osorio, nonetheless, is maybe the exception to the rule, and the Colombian champion illustrated as a lot along with his high-quality victory on stage 3, the place he emerged from an elite group that included Rigoberto Urán and Egan Bernal on the finish of a breathless circuit race round Tunja.
It was arduous to shake off the sense that Osorio was using like a person with a degree to show. He has been plying his commerce with GW Erco Shimano since he was fired by Bahrain Victorious in 2022, simply three months and two races into his spell with the crew. In a short assertion on the time, Bahrain mentioned that Osorio had been sacked for what they termed as “a number of contract breaches.”
“It was unjust, it wasn’t something sufficiently big to destroy an individual like that,” Osorio insisted when he took a seat within the press room in Tunja on Thursday. “For me it was just like the destruction of my profession, so now I’m simply having fun with being the place I’m. But when God needs me in Europe, I’d go gladly.”
Within the fast aftermath of his departure from Bahrain, Osorio had indicated that he supposed to sue for wrongful dismissal, however finance dictated in any other case. “I couldn’t afford to rent a lawyer to attraction it in opposition to a crew like Bahrain who’ve some huge cash,” he defined, earlier than going to stipulate the contract breaches in additional element.
“Someday I went to eat at a gelateria, and I used to be informed I wasn’t following the nutritionist’s directions,” he mentioned. “One other day I went to a purchasing centre to purchase a sim card and I used to be informed I’d damaged the COVID well being bubble. I used to be below plenty of strain.
“Then I used to be very sick after Strade Bianche, I used to be vomiting, and so they put me in isolation. I went dwelling to Andorra with out taking my helmet from the bus. As soon as I used to be there, I mentioned to myself that I shouldn’t exit sporting one other model’s helmet, and I made the error of importing a good friend’s experience into my TrainingPeaks profile. That was essentially the most severe factor I did. Sure, it was a mistake, however not sufficiently big to destroy an individual like they did.”
Coppi e Bartali
A local of El Carmen de Viboral, a city close to Medellín well-known for its ceramics, Osorio’s calling card as an newbie was a stage win on the Passo Maniva on the U23 Giro d’Italia in 2018. He would lead the race into the ultimate day earlier than dropping to fourth in Prosecco nation as Aleksandr Vlasov took the title.
Osorio moved to Europe full-time the next yr to race for Nippo-Vini Fantini, earlier than transferring throughout to Caja Rural when the crew disbanded on the finish of the season. He did sufficient in his time in Spain to earn a transfer to the WorldTour for 2022, however then his European journey unspooled dramatically, sending him again to begin throughout in Colombia.
As a younger rider, Osorio was given the nickname ‘Pony’ after his older brother Danny had already been assigned the moniker of ‘Horse.’ His punchy ending has carried him to a stage win on the Vuelta al Táchira and the Colombian nationwide title already this yr, but it surely stays to be seen if his performances on the Tour Colombia will entice any suitors amongst WorldTour squads and ProTeams.
“I’m nonetheless solely 25,” Osorio mentioned. “Possibly with the technology arising, it’s not that younger. However I nonetheless really feel younger, and I’d like to return. I feel I’ve expertise.”
The GW Erco Shimano roster additionally contains the highly-touted 19-year-old Diego Pescador, reportedly on the radar of quite a lot of WorldTour groups, and the squad’s programme will a minimum of provide their riders a possible store window in Europe within the coming months.
“I’m going to Europe quickly for the Settimana Coppi e Bartali, which is a race I like rather a lot, and it fits me effectively too. On daily basis is tough, like a Traditional,” Osorio mentioned. “With the nationwide title and a win at Tour Colombia, I’ve achieved two goals already this yr. I’d like a 3rd at Coppi e Bartali.”