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Rigoberto Urán (Sky)
Colombian goes into the Giro without the pressure of being Sky’s leader
Seventh and best young rider at last year’s Giro d’Italia, Rigoberto Urán has confirmed he will go into this year’s race with no personal objective at all beyond doing as much work as he can for Sky Pro Cycling team leader Bradley Wiggins. “The objectives and the mentality is different to last year,” the Colombian told Marca. “Wiggins is the leader and I’ve not got that pressure.”
Urán, who has recently moved to Monaco from his long-time base in the Spanish city of Pamplona, said he has been training hard on the roads around the principality since Liège-Bastogne-Liège. “I am very focused on working on the mountain stages. My preparation has been good and the team will start in good shape. Sergio [Henao], Kosta [Siutsou] and me will be the riders who will have to be with and work for Wiggins in the mountains, especially during the final week, which is really hard,” Urán explained.
The 26-year-old Colombian admitted he will not pass up the opportunity to take something out of the race himself if it presents itself, but added this was unlikely to happen because his focus is so different this year. “It will be three weeks of hard work. Besides the Giro is… the Giro – it’s a bit of a madman’s race and you always have to be attentive.”
The Colombian said he completed all of the hardcore preparation for the Giro prior to Liège, and has spent the time since La Doyenne settling down in Monaco and keeping his form at peak level. “I’ve enjoyed the training here because it’s a nice area with lots of climbs and the weather is better than in Italy, and it’s hotter.”
Urán is one of no fewer than 14 Colombians participating in the Giro, a fact he says underlines growing competitive and confidence levels among riders from his home country. “The next few years look very good for Colombian cycling,” he said. “Almost all of the riders are between 23 and 27. And there are some good youngsters in Colombia. The mentality has changed. Now they are more open, whereas before they were a little bit afraid of coming to Europe. All we need now is for a company in Colombia to get firmly behind cycling, in addition to Coldeportes. There’s no reason Colombia can’t have a WorldTour in the future,” he affirmed.
Urán said he is expecting to ride the Vuelta later in the season and is also looking forward to the Worlds, where Colombia’s recent resurgence could result in them having a nine-rider team.