Rigoberto Urán came to the Tour of Slovenia with the Tour de France in mind, his EF Education First-Drapac team having added the five-day 2.1 race to the calendar as a late addition to bridge the gap to the Tour de France, which starts a week later this year.
The plan worked out to perfection, with Urán taking a stage 3 win in Celje and backing it up with 15th in the final time trial to seal second overall. Stage 4 winner Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) won the final time trial and the overall.
“I’m happy,” Uran said in a statement released by his team. “The most important for me is the Tour, but before the Tour, I have good legs to finish second, win a stage in Slovenia and also do a good time trial today. I’m so happy to know everything is where it needs to be.”
Urán's win on stage 3 from Slovenske Konjice to Celje came with an attack on the final climb that swept up late leaders Roglic and Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida), with the Colombian able to out-kick Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) at the line for the stage win.
Urán finished fifth on the Queen stage won by Roglic on Saturday, and he held his ground well against the other GC contenders during Sunday's time trial, clocking a faster time than all but two of the riders in the general classification top 10.
“Everything went well in the time trial,” said EF Education First-Drapac director Ken Vanmarcke. “Rigo was never in trouble and could pace the way he wanted. His main goal is in three weeks, not today, and this week was a perfect preparation.
“Rigo is healthy, had nice weather to race in, and goes home with a victory and a good feeling for the last build part towards the Tour de France. Knowing what’s coming, we can’t ask for anything more.”
Urán came into the race after spending two months at altitude in Colombia. He will travel to his European base of Monoco from Slovenia to continue his Tour preparation.
“Between now and the Tour, I do more of the same,” Urán said. “I want to have good training. We have one small training camp in Girona focused on the team time trial. Then it’s Tour time.”