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"I hope to be racing at the front in the hardest stages like one year ago. The course suits me. It's a personal goal to make the top five overall. But it's a difficult race with so many riders who want to win.”

Photo: IAM Cycling






16.01.2016 @ 14:17 Posted by Joseph Doherty

After Esteban Chaves reportedly told his Orica-GreenEDGE sports director Matt White to watch out at the Tour Down Under for ex Colombia teammate Jarlinson Pantano (IAM), Pantano has spoken about his aims for the race.


"Esteban and I are friends but we didn't train together this year, only last year we did, so I'm not sure what his comments are based on", Pantano reacted to the story about Chaves and the text. "Maybe he thinks I'm going well because I won the first race of the year on the Colombian calendar, El circuito de la feria di Manizales, on January 3, there were a few Continental teams there and also Janier Acevedo who was with Cannondale last year but I was the only World Tour rider."


Pantano says he has had a tranquil offseason after a great first year with IAM at the top of the sport.


"I've had a complete break of 25 days after Il Lombardia, I've had a good preparation of the 2016 season since November 1. I'm hoping to go better than last year," he added. "I've had a pretty good season for my first year in the World Tour but I'm yet to win a big race and that's what I want to do this year, starting with the Tour Down Under."


Pantano was ninth here last year and is looking to improve, but says the climbs don’t really suit his style, but perhaps they suit Sky’s Sergio Henao, his compatriot…


"I've asked my team to send me here again," he said. "I hope to be racing at the front in the hardest stages like one year ago. The course suits me. It's a personal goal to make the top five overall. But it's a difficult race with so many riders who want to win.”


"The hills are a bit too short for us, Colombians, they actually suit Henao better. He's got a lot of power. Julian [Arredondo] and him have performed at Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège before. It's a bit similar here with some ups and downs every day.”




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