EF Pro Cycling's Rigoberto Uran dropped from third place overall to sixth after stage 17 of the Tour de France to the top of the brutal Col de la Loze on Wednesday, but the Colombian remains optimistic that things could always change dramatically once more on stage 18 on Thursday as the race continues in the Alps.
"It was a really tough stage today, and the final part of the climb was tricky, but I just did what I always do, and I tried my best all the way to the finish," Uran said in a team press release. "We've lost quite a bit of time, but we'll keep fighting right to the end, like always."
The 33-year-old finished ninth on the stage, 1:59 behind stage winner Miguel Angel Lopez of Astana. Uran had been able to keep pace with the main group of GC contenders thanks to the assistance of teammate Hugh Carthy, but when the British climber had to drop off the pace with 13km to go, Uran was left to fend for himself against the likes of race leader Primoz Roglic and his Jumbo-Visma teammates, second placed Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Trek-Segafredo's Richie Porte and eventual winner Lopez.
"Rigo was looking good on the final climb," Carthy said. "It was hard and really steep. We're a little disappointed, but overall we couldn't have done anything different. We tried our best."
Uran dropped three places to sixth overall, and is now 3:24 off Roglic's race lead, but just 10 seconds behind fifth-placed Yates and three seconds ahead of Bahrain McLaren's Mikel Landa in seventh place.
"Tomorrow is going to be another hard stage," Uran said of Thursday's stage 18 from Méribel to La Roche-sur-Foron. "It could be one where everything changes again, just need to try and recover well before then, and give it everything that we have again tomorrow."
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