When Kazakhstan’s Alexandre Vinokourov attacked out of the leading group in the closing kilometers of the men’s Olympic road race there was only one rider who had the tactical nous to follow the move. Rigoberto Uran was quick to latch-on to the wheels of Vinokourov and the two promptly established a winning margin over the chasers.
The two cooperated until the final 500m when Vinokourov opened-up his sprint. The winner of the young rider classification at this year’s Giro d’Italia seemed to be caught by surprise and failed to react fast enough to win gold.
"To be honest I wasn't counting on the medal but we have it now. This one is for all the people of Colombia who were hoping. Colombia, this medal is for you," Uran said at the finish.
‘Winning’ the silver medal just days into the London Games was a proud moment for the rider and his country. Beijing’s Olympic Games saw Colombia take home just one medal - a silver in the women’s 55kg wrestling. Uran was hoping for more but didn’t have the strength to overhaul the Kazakh.
"I attacked and at the sprint I was thinking of the gold [medal]. However, one thing is what you think and another thing is what the legs say," the cyclist told RCN Radio.
"I looked to my right and suddenly Alexandre took off. I didn't have anything left for a sprint. It was a very long day," he said.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos immediately reacted to the news of the country’s first medal in London for 2012.
"I want to express my happiness and I believe the happiness of all Colombians because we have just won the first medal at the London Olympics," he said in a public speech.
Uran's silver is just the 12th medal won by a Colombian at the Olympic Games.