Santiago Botero Portrait
Family provides Santiago Botero with the stability needed for extraordinary achievements.
This year, Santiago Botero has trained more, but taken part in fewer races. This mix has allowed him to celebrate more often at the end of races than in previous years. He gets his power from his family and lives happily in Madrid with his wife Catalina and six-month old daughter Gara.
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"I?m no favorite, I'm a racing cyclist", said Santiago Botero, shortly before the Tour de France, and added: "A racing cyclist with opportunities." There are about 20-30 cyclists that are capable of major achievements in the 2005 Tour de France, and Botero is certainly one of them. But opportunities alone aren?t enough. A good team is needed, as well as a lot of luck. You have to find the right breakaway in which all riders contribute; the hotels have to be up to scratch and the body has to be able to recover from the strains on a day-by-day basis. According to Botero it is also important to pay attention at all times during the race: "You can't miss any attacking opportunities." Botero sees his experience in racing and physical conditioning as a major advantage.
The previously most important victory
Santiago Botero never forgets his victories. In his opinion these wins are the results of hard work and, at the same time, the incentive to carry on in a motivated manner. His previously most important win was the World Championship title during the individual time trials in 2002. He hadn't reckoned with such a win as he wasn't 100 percent fit. The absolute career highlight for Santiago Botero would however be a victory at the Tour de France. With a top 3 overall placement he would be able to improve on his fourth place overall finish in 2002: "For me, a win would be recognition, for my team, Phonak, it would just be fantastic." Botero would be the first Columbian rider to win the Tour de France.
The cyclist, the singer, and the president
His heart belongs to Columbia. The country defined him. It is the place where he feels at home and where he belongs. He grew up in Columbia, and completed his studies in economics there. He went to school with singer Juanes, and to the same college as Columbia?s current president ?lvaro Uribe V?lez. Botero would in fact be working in a bank today if his parents hadn't supported his dream of becoming a cyclist. "They have always supported me and continue to do so", said Botero in recognition of his parents? support. This isn?t something that can be taken for granted as cycling isn?t one of Columbia?s top sports, rather one of the many "bad sorts".
A home for every walk of life
Santiago Botero currently lives in Madrid. He likes Spain, it?s the best place for his life as a cyclist. But sooner or later he wants to return to Medellin, his true home. In January 2006 Botero will become a dad for the second time, But he isn?t afraid that the future move to Columbia will have too much