Rigoberto Urán has denied reports that Team Sky are not united behind Bradley Wiggins in his bid to become the first British winner of the Giro d’Italia, but has also confirmed that if circumstances permit, he would not turn his nose up at a top five finish overall.
On top of that, the Colombian says that he will be battling to take the lead on stage seven’s trek through the Abruzzo mountains, which he calls “a semi-Classic” in terms of difficulty.
“I’m doing well, I’m in good shape and I want the pink jersey,” Urán, seventh and best young rider in the 2012 Giro d'Italia, told Colombian station Radio Caracol before blaming the media for all the rumours of internal dissent in the team.
“They say we’re not united, but that’s just the press talking. Both Sergio [Henao] and I came here to do a job for Bradley Wiggins. We will be focusing on the third week, which is where there’s the bulk of the high mountain stages.”
As for his own chances, Uran said “We’ll take it on the day by day. This isn’t like the Tour which you can control much more easily. If there’s not too much work, the top five is possible.”
He refused to comment in detail on rumours that he will be quitting Team Sky at the end of 2013.
“This year my contract ends,” he told Radio Caracol, “we’re still talking and nothing’s yet set out in a contract. There are possibilities of other teams. But we’ll wait until the Giro is over before deciding.”
Rather than do a Wiggins Giro-Tour double, Uran revelaed he will be doing the Vuelta, with a view to building up for the World’s, a route which suits him well. Urán traditionally has strong finishes to the year, with a third place in Il Lombardia a few years back. “If I did the Tour, then I wouldn’t have such good chances for the World’s,” he said.
Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for Cyclingnews.com, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.
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