Santiago Buitrago, and the joy of being family

por | May 2, 2020 | News, Noticias

One of the most popular cyclists in the country made part of our team in his formative stage, the most important one of an athlete. His development as a cyclist has been in climbing, so much so that today integrates an UCI World Tour squad. See his grow make us so glad and puff up our chest of joy.

Happy, with FUN colors. Jairo Chaves (left) and Wilson Sandoval (right). 📷: Eder Garcés / FCC.
«To achieve your goals, you must dream them first». With that phrase melted in his heart lives the Bogotanian Santiago Buitrago, who is 20 years old. Thanks to dreaming, dreaming big in fact, today he is part of the UCI World Team Bahrain McLaren, one of the most important teams in the world cycling.

All started during his childhood, when desires are more genuine than ever. He always liked to ride a bike. He used to go with his friends to one mountain in the sabana cundiboyacence region. This place is his favorite place to ride. «This sport teaches you, better than any other, to get up after tripping and falling», he said. That daily lesson shaped his character, humility and a strong iron mentality.

One weekend that seemed to be as any other, his father Héctor Gustavo, took him to compete in a MTB race in Boyacá when he was 11 years old. «Without uniform, I ran, and it went well. I ended in sixth place. I remember we were super excited. There I told my dad, I wanted to practice to win and someday be a professional’, said Santiago. During adolescence, Santiago sacrificed parties, going out, relationships and recovered from accidents. He was completely focus on the target.

The support of his father and his family was vital. The one form different people crossed the road, also played an important role. One of them was Jairo Chaves. The father of Esteban and FUN’s director, who invited him to FUN Team, a project promoting values through sport. He wore our jersey from 2016 to 2017 in the pre-youth category, years that marked his process. In sports he achieved important results, among them the third place in Vuelta al Porvenir, the title of Clásica de Soacha and second place in the Clásica San Gil, micro Vuelta al Valle and Clásica de Boyacá.

Focus and conviction, synonymous of his surname.

A mark

However, what Santiago remember the most from this period was his personal learning. «Those years I learned a lot. The people I met, left their mark on me. The mechanics, the masseurs and professor Wilson who contributes to my human formation. More than a team, it was a family where I shared many things. I will always carry them in my heart», expressed Santi.
For Wilson Sandoval, FUN sport director, «he is a wonderful human being, cheerful and outgoing. As a cyclist he is disciplined, committed and methodical. He believes a lot in work plans. I’m very pleased to have been part of his process where we achieved important goals”, concludes Wilson.

Today the FUN 2020 Team is made up of 18 young people from all around the country. Many of the boys see Esteban, Santiago and other cyclists in the country as role models. Óscar Blanco is one of those boys and he belongs to the pre-youth category. «My aspiration is to one day become a professional cyclist. And in that dream, I see Santiago and of course Esteban, as role models that show us what path we should follow as people and as athletes”.

«To the members of the FUN Team I want to say that everyone is able to achieve what they desire. With dedication, discipline and humbleness, dreams will sooner or later become true”, said Santiago. At FUN, from both areas, sport and health we contribute to build the present and shape the future. «I am deeply shocked as the children of FUN have a smile and live with so much hope. You offer them an opportunity, you give them a light to move on. That is admirable», confessed Santiago, a family man who likes to experiment in cooking and drawing.

There is a precious lesson like the diamond, in Santiago Buitrago’s story. He started out pedaling for fun and became a high-performance sportsman. The value of persistence. Thanks to his great performance at Vuelta al Porvenir in 2017, he was signed by the AV Villas Team, national squad, then jump to Europe to Team Cinelli in Italy, and finally landed at the Bahrain McLaren. «Watching his progress from the youth category to professionalism was exciting. At FUN, we gave it a base and a structure that, together with its discipline and talent, allowed him to achieve a great development», said Esteban Chaves.

For Santiago being at FUN was a great opportunity. «Dreams come true. This slogan, which is the driving force behind the non-proft and which Esteban has always reinforced to us, is one of the phrases I carry most in my life”, concluded Santiago.

Running with the Bahrain McLaren, always leaving the soul. Today integrates the ranks of that team of West Asia, at the top category. «It means a lot to see that everything I have experienced has been worth it. It is to see your dreams and those of your family materialize. Sometimes I wake up and think about the big step I have taken. Sometimes I don’t believe it. 📷: santiago0926