Rigoberto Uran believes that his new team Cannondale Pro Cycling will commit to supporting his goal of winning the Giro d’Italia in May. Having twice placed second overall while racing for Team Sky in 2013 and Omega Pharma-QuickStep in 2014, Uran said that he and his green-argyle team are putting everything into securing the pink jersey in Turin.
“To win the Giro d’Italia, it’s the first [dream],” Uran said in an interview during Cannondale’s webcast presentation on Monday. “I like this race. I was second there twice. For this year, for sure, I will try to win this race.”
Uran finished second to overall winner Vincenzo Nibali, down by 4:43, in the 2013 edition of the Italian Grand Tour. He finished second again the following year to Nairo Quintana, down by 2:58. He aspired to win the race last year, and although he was on the podium in stage 19 to Cervinia and stage 20 to Sestriere, he ended up finishing a mediocre 14th place overall, 28:26 behind winner Alberto Contador.
“This is a new team, and to be honest, they have very strong, young riders with a strong mentality,” Uran said of teammates like Davide Formolo, who won a stage of the Giro last year. “Of course, it is clear that there are more riders that ride in the mountains and that are stronger. In the teams that I was in before, I did have good help, but not enough. I think there is a misconception (about how hard it is).”
Cannondale hasn’t yet announced the line-up for the Giro d’Italia that starts in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. The event will include three individual time trials and seven mountainous stages with four summit finishes. Uran said that he has already begun his preparations in training, dialling in his equipment and selecting a early-season racing plan that will help him build up to strong performances during the Giro.
“It is important to start working now, to start thinking about the Giro,” Uran said. “We are going to try in every way possible, we are going to work, right now we are preparing everything so that nothing can go wrong in the Giro d’Italia. We are now starting to prep, look at the plan, looking at the race plans, everything to get there with the whole team in the condition to win the Giro.”
Cannondale CEO and team manager Jonathan Vaughters confirmed that Uran will target the Giro d’Italia, while Andrew Talansky and new signing Pierre Rolland will race the Tour de France.
Vaughters said that he thought Uran didn’t get the proper support at the Giro d’Italia in the past but that this year the Giro d’Italia is Cannondale’s primary objective.
“Rigoberto Uran is really our anchor-point rider for 2016,” Vaughters said. “In 2013 and 2014, how he was second place in the Giro d’Italia; in 2013, he was four minutes behind Nibali in the end and most of those four minutes were lost in the first week while he was working for Brad Wiggins. I think Uran was much more competitive than his second place actually showed.
“Uran is going to be focused on the Giro. That, I would say, is probably our primary objective.”