Cycling is one of the biggest sports in Colombia and Portal is expecting the atmosphere around the race to be memorable.
“It will be an all new experience,” he continued. “We are all excited. It is one of the heartlands of cycling. With this generation of Colombian riders like Sergio, Egan, Rigoberto [Uran], [Nairo] Quintana, there is a massive amount of fans. They love cycling. It is going to be something special.
“When we are at the Tour de France you see all the Colombian fans every day. It’s nuts! They are smiling, they enjoy it - they are pure fans. We expect something special in their country.”
Introducing the team for Oro y Paz, Portal added: “Sergio is looking good. He wants to defend his national jersey, and he will be our number one.
“Then there is Egan, who has the Tour Down Under in his legs and is already going well. So we’ve got two leaders, really. We will support Sergio and Egan will be able to back him up.
“We also have Sebastian, who is always good on the climbs, along with David, Jonathan and Tao – we have a really good group.
“I expect it’s not going to be like a race in Europe where you can control all day. We need to be clever – we only have six guys, so it’s pretty interesting. This is where Tao, David, Sebastian and Jonathan can maybe take some time on an early stage or halfway through a stage where there’s an attack, they can tactically mark some other big teams. We need to be smart, and only try to control the bunch when it’s needed.”