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Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) in Tour of Oman
Colombian still hoping to ride the Tour de France after targeting the Giro d'Italia
Little ruffles Rigoberto Uran and after a second consecutive strong performance at the Tour of Oman, he was neither happy nor disappointed about being in third place overall behind Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC).
On Friday the Omega Pharma-Quick Step climber finished second to Peter Sagan after joining forces with the Slovakian and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) on the descent to the finish.
Taking the wrong line around a late roundabout cost the trio dearly, and they were almost caught at the line. If they had stayed away, Uran would have started the decisive Green Mountain stage with a much bigger margin on Froome and could have perhaps held on to take the race lead. Instead, Froome won the stage and finished 33 seconds ahead of Uran, taking all the glory.
Yet Uran was ready to accept the twists and turns of bike racing, quietly satisfied that his shown his new Omega Pharma-Quick Step team that their investment and confidence in signing him as their Grand Tour leader was money well spent.
"I think it's been two good stages for me. I was perhaps hoping to win a stage but Froomey is very strong," he told Cyclingnews as he readied to head back to the race hotel.
"I'm satisfied. I think I'll end this race in a good place. It show's that I've worked hard during the winter in Colombia, that I'm ready for the more important races that are coming up like Tirreno-Adriatico and the Volta a Catalunya. I don't know if I'll be able to win them but I'll be trying, and I want to do well."
The Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France?
Uran already seems to fit in well with the laid-back but competitive atmosphere at Omega Pharma-Quick Step. He's tiny compared to the likes of Tom Boonen and the stocky Flemish rouleurs that are in the team's line-up here in Oman, but he has quickly shown he deserves respect and responsibility in the team.
Uran is the designated team leader for the Giro d'Italia in May but has not yet ruled out also riding the Tour de France alongside Mark Cavendish, his lead-out train and fellow team leaders Tony Martin and Michal Kwiatkowski.
"We haven't decided anything about the Tour yet," he pointed out to Cyclingnews, turning slightly more serious.
"I'm in the long list but we'll see what happens. I'm ready to do the Tour. We've got a good team for the Tour with Cavendish, Tony Martin and Kwiatkowski. First I'm going to focus on the Giro d'Italia and then we'll decide if I do the Tour de France too."