Rigoberto Urán well placed ahead of second Giro d'Italia rest day

On the eve of second rest day of this year's Giro d'Italia, Rigoberto Urán (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) has only one GC rival who holds an advantage over his aspirations to claim the maglia rosa in Trieste on June 1. The Colombian climber is 57 seconds behind race leader Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team).

On the 172km stage nine from Lugo to Sestola, Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale) attacked from the maglia rosa group with a little less than 5km to go to gain time on all the GC men.

Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge) and Davide Malacarne (Team Europcar) duelled for the stage win with the Dutchman from the Australian team claiming the win, his second Giro stage win to go with his 2011 victory.

Behind the two leaders, the race for pink was on as Pozzovivo danced away, gaining valuable time on all his rivals plus additional bonus seconds on the line. Omega Pharma-Quick Step placed Wout Poels on the front of the GC group in an attempt to minimise any time losses to Pozzovivo.

Urán along with the other overall contenders — including the maglia rosa Evans — conceded 30 seconds to the Italian climber.

"As I said yesterday, you never know how a race can be even if it looks easier on paper," said Urán who holds onto his second place. "Even today was a difficult stage. The group took a good tempo until the last climb. The steepest part of the climb was between eight and four kilometres from the finish. Pozzovivo attacked on that part. I didn't follow him and I sat in the bunch to see if somebody would react to his attack.

"Nobody followed him, so at that point I tried to accelerate a bit to see the reaction of the other GC guys. Nothing really happened, so I asked Poels to set the tempo and try to contain the gap from Pozzovivo. The team was again great today. I can really count on the guys and I'm happy about it."

Content with his Giro so far, Omega Pharma-Quick Step's second place on the stage one team time trial placed the 27-year-old in a prime position for his attempt to claim a maiden Grand Tour victory.

Urán avoided the crashes which were prevalent throughout the first week of the Giro and is hoping to make it to the final week of race still placed high up on the general classification.

"Today in a certain way the first part of the Giro is closed," Urán said. "I think that so far we rode a good Giro. We are in good GC position. We didn't try to do too much, or too little either. We stayed consistent. We survived a few nasty crashes and the most important thing, we have a great atmosphere in the team. The high mountains are still far away, but it was very important in this first part of the Giro to not lose time and not be surprised. I think we accomplished our mission so far. We are looking forward to the next stages."

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