Controversy in Colombia: ‘Juanes’ Arango demands the election of Fernando Gaviria for the Paris 2024 omnium

A just over a month until it happens the start of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, in Colombia there is a controversy in the cycling environment due to the election of Fernando Gaviria for the omnium. And although The current Movistar Team rider was multiple champion of this multiple competition, in recent years he has not been so close to the track and it is more related to the route.

After knowing the lists of the Colombian Cycling Federation (FCC), it was learned that Juan Esteban Arango was dissatisfied because he considers that he was the one who made the merits and the points for Colombia to be given the quota. To clarify, This track cycling category only allows for one representative per win this place add up the points of the different cyclists who participate in the Olympic Cycle and the place is numerical, leaving each federation the power to select from among those who scored points.

But Arango gave an interview for the program ‘El Vbar’ on Caracol Radio and expressed that he did the entire cycle and that he does not agree with Gaviria being the one registered for the Olympic event. Besides, On his Instagram account he left a strong and clear message.

‘Juanes’ Arango complains because he is not going to the omnium of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games

In the interview, bluntly, the 37-year-old cyclist was direct when he said that he went through the process to reach the Olympics: “I did the theme of qualify for the Olympics, my specialty is track in the semi-distance area. That requires specialization and focus on the track discipline in semi-distance cycling. “We did the entire Olympic Cycle in recent years, focused and thinking about qualifying for Colombia after 8 years, and I got Colombia’s place in the Canada Cup, 2 months ago.”.

According to the trackman’s story, Last Monday, June 10, the FCC called him to inform him that the technical commission determined that Fernando Gaviria was going to go to the test. and that he would remain waiting for any news, as a substitute. But he clearly said that he did not understand the arguments for that decision, to the detriment of his progress in the Olympic Cycle:

In the call that the track director made to me he told me that Fernando Gaviria was going, perhaps, because he was on a ProTour team and was more likely to be in the Olympic Games. That was the summary of the call

Although The quota is numerical and not nominal, since it is granted to the country and not to a specific athlete, registration in the test is done with the chosen one and that is why they notified Juan Esteban Arango of the election by Fernando Gaviria. And the scenario for which he added the most points in the classification process is the following, in his words: “I would think he came in second place, as a substitute, on the bench, as is done in soccer. Anyway, I’m still in the United States finishing the preparation I had scheduled for the Olympic Games and I have 15 days of competition left here. Then I have to return to Colombia, to continue preparing on the track, to finish the preparation, thinking about the Olympic Games. Anything could happen before the Games and I want to be focused.”.

So, Any injury, forced withdrawal or change in the status of Fernando Gaviria, would leave the second on the list the possibility of participating. But far from talking about that hypothetical scenario that would affect his partner and colleague, Arango spoke about his feelings in the interview with Caracol Radio: “Very sad and very sorry for the decision that I must accept as a professional runner, but that I do not share in this case… I hoped to be the runner who would represent Colombia in the Olympics”.

Although he did not hide his point of view, understanding that in recent years, Gaviria’s career has been more visible through road cycling and he has been in the Quick Step, in the UAE Team Emirates and arrived at the Movistar Team for 2023:

Fernando is a runner with a lot of quality, experience, he has been very focused on the route after the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. We must not ignore that he is a great athlete, but in this case there are not many arguments to choose another runner

Beyond the fact that the decisions are made by the Colombian Cycling Federation through the technical commission, after 17 years in the Colombian Track Team, Juan Esteban Arango plans to retire in a couple of years and stated that it was the ideal end to his 37 years:

I wanted to do an Olympic Cycle, give Colombia the best of me and my last sporting years. I think I achieved it and that’s why I’m very calm about all the work I’ve done. Sad but calm

But in the official statement of the Federation and in responses from those linked to it, it has been assessed that Gaviria was in the process, he did score points and is in an ideal moment to go. In addition, past experience also supports the one who obtained the Olympic diploma in 2016 for his fourth place: “Fernando Gaviria will return to an Olympic event after his participation in Rio 2016, a competition in which he finished fourth overall in the omnium and obtained an Olympic diploma, in a discipline where he holds two elite world titles and one youth title in his record.”.

We will have to wait if there is any more clarification, if there were specific criteria that left Juan Esteban Arango below Fernando Gaviria and if the controversy moves away from this participation. Without forgetting that something similar was experienced at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games when Vincent Pelluard, a French nationalized Colombian and husband of Mariana Pajón, He went to the orbital event on the BMX and controversy arose due to the absence of Diego Arboleda.


Davide Piano

An experienced journalist with an insatiable curiosity for global affairs on newshubpro

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