That rough diamond that shines brighter every time. Santiago Buitrago (Bogotá, 23 years old) has done it again, just one year and one day after showing the world his letter of introduction in the 17th stage of the Giro d’Italia. Then it was in Lavarone, in a high mountain stage which is where the coffee grower exhibits his enormous climbing conditions. Today, in the queen stage of the Pink Corsa in 2023, he inscribed his name on the mythical Tre Cime di Lavaredo, one of the most special for Colombian cycling after the great lucho herrera back in 1989.
“Very happy with this victory. I think it came at the right time of ethis Turn. It was being difficult personally and today to raise my arms here in Tre Cime, for me it is the payment of work and sacrifice What did I do to come to this Giro? Every day we sacrifice a lot to get the best results and this fills us with a lot of motivation. Hard work pays off”, explained Buitrago as he crossed the finish line, a feat that will make him fondly remember a Giro where, until now, things had not worked out for him.
His situation in the race was highly conditioned from the ninth stage, since his teammate Damiano Caruso he saw himself near the ranks of general while he lost a world. Relegated to gregarious tasks, that protection work condemned his freedom to fight for victories until today. “I knew that Gee (Derek) was the strongest and I had him as a reference. With 1.5 km to go I decided to give it my all to the finish line and it was hard”, explained a smiling Buitrago about his strategy to win. Resident in Andorra and great friend of Mikel Landa, The good old Santi still aspires to a top-10 overall in the Giro if he signs a good time trial in Lussari, which would mean his best result in some grand tours that he dreams of conquering one day. At the end of this season ends contract with Bahrain-Victorious, but with performances like this he won’t be short of ‘girlfriends’. Her cache keeps growing.