Rigoberto Urán (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) rode side-by-side with his compatriot Nairo Quintana (Movistar) to the top of the Zoncolan to seal his second place on the podium. It was a fitting end to a race that saw Colombia put themselves back on the map of Grand Tour riding.
Quintana became the first Colombian to win the Giro d’Italia and only the second to win a grand tour. However, Urán’s second place made it equally as historic, as the first Colombian 1-2 in a grand tour. The Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider was happy to equal his best performance of last year.
“I am really happy with this 2nd place. I think OPQS as a team had a great Giro, and I’m satisfied with my spot on the podium,” said Urán after the stage finish on the Monte Zoncolan. “This is historic. It’s the first Grand Tour podium in the history of the team.
“I hope it is just the first of many podiums. We will see what can happen and we will fight for it. But tonight, it is time to celebrate what we did at this Giro with the team and then we will enjoy the final stage.”
As the race headed into the final decisive day there was little chance of improvement for Urán, however that didn’t stop the Omega Pharma-QuickStep team from commanding things in the finale. Urán was the only rider to have any teammates with him at the steepest part of the climb, with Wout Poels setting the pace. They were soon joined by Pieter Serry, who had been in the day’s break. The Colombian praised the efforts of his teammates.
“The whole team had another great performance. The boys fought for me. We sent Serry ahead so we could have someone in front of me in the final climb,” explained Urán. “Wout made a good rhythm. He and Serry did some great work in the final kilometres. I have to say that it was a beautiful climb in the middle of that crowd.”
Urán came into the race as one of the favourites, after finishing second to Vincenzo Nibali in 2013. He took hold of the maglia rosa with a hugely impressive performance in the first time trial on stage 12. However, he slipped to second on the controversial stage 16 when Quintana slipped away on the descent of the Stelvio. Despite not being able to hold onto the leader’s jersey to Trieste, Urán has no regrets about his performance.
“I think that we have taken advantage of every opportunity that we could in the race and we did what we had to do, so I am happy.”
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