Sorry to weight in, but there is some misleading information given here. I'm also a Colombian living abroad (Montréal) for the last 8 years.
1. Escarabajo is right, Football in Colombia is the #1 sport, they cover the sport section in TV news and newspapers with that, even the radio stations are about football. Cycling is a far second and roller skating 3rd (Colombia has dominated this sport for the last two decades).
Apart from local and international football, TV news prefer to fill the sports section with a dog catching a Frisbee or 60 fat guys playing for 4 seconds every 2 minutes, a sport nobody plays or understand because that's cheaper than sending reporters to a nationals of any other sport, cycling included.
This is no longer the 80's when 3 radio chains would send tens of reporters to TdF, Vuelta and Giro, and TV would start 5AM in the morning for the most important stages (~9AM the rest), there were Vuelta al Táchira or Costa Rica live on radio.
With the decline of Colombian cycling by the time of Alvaro Mejía and Oliverio Rincón the coverage was reduced, sponsors flew and provincial (we call them departments) support was needed (specially in Antioquia and Boyacá). There are specialized programs, local races are broadcasted, and GT may have a journalist to cover the finish and gather some interviews (believe me: When I'm going for a run I try unsuccessfully to use tunein to get radio coverage of a stage in Colombian stations... BTW If you know of live race broadcast in Spanish, English, French or even Italian or Portuguese, please let me know).
But please note that cycling is ingrained in Colombians since the 50's, you gotta see those massive arrivals to some cities, and the rivalry between Antioquia and the Cundiboyacense plateau, also with radio broadcast and and thousands of fans.
Newer generations (10-30 yo) are unaware or indifferent to cycling.
2. We do take pride in the "escarabajos", as they show the other face from our country: That of humble hardworkers from countryside, facing the giant Europeans with "bare legs"(being a bit poetic but that's about it). We perceive the cyclist as closer to the right values, and soccer stars more of a rich playboys, which is not always true
3. Andrés Escobar was killed not because of betting: They (the footballer and the agressors) were going out from a night club, mildly or heavily intoxicated. Escobar was being scolded for the own goal, got dragged in the discussion, it became physical and the others have guns... Put it simple: A brawl outside a bar with an armed gang.
4. When it's midnight in Colombia it's 6AM in Europe, so I doubt Santos called Uran at that time... Better it was dinner time in Europe and the afternoon over there.
Now, to answer Ilovecycling questions:
1. Nairo means a lot for Colombian cycling, as well as the other 3 stars. I'd say Urán and Henao raised the awareness in the last 2 years, but this is the real confirmation of the Colombian cycling return.
It's again a topic of conversation between Colombians and the new generations are back to it.
2. Obviously the mass media are turning their attention to cycling again, it will take time but I hope we can get more sponsors... Look, almost all the Colombian teams are supported by public funds: The 3 Colombia teams (Team, 472, Claro) are supported totally or partially by national funds, EPM-Une is a company owned by the City of Medellín, any team that says loteria, aguardiente, gobernación is a department funded team.
3.It's not only road, we are also getting in track (gold medal last week in worlds), MTB (some wins by Paez in Italy) and BMX (Gold and Bronze in London 2012). It starts getting back again in the mind. As the positive news keep coming (with sponsors) we can expect a better national calendar, improved category for the Vuelta a Colombia and Clásico RCN (well I hope).