Rigoberto Urán is a man in demand. Currently lying third overall at the Giro d’Italia and coming to the end of his contract with Sky Pro Cycling at the end of this season, the 26-year-old Colombian is looking for a team that can offer him the chance to be a leader in the grand tours, and specifically next year’s Tour de France.
Speaking to L’Équipe at the Giro, the Colombian’s agent, Giuseppe Acquadro, said Urán is likely to leave the British team. “Unlike [Sergio] Henao, who is in the same situation, Urán won’t be staying with Sky because he wants to ride the Tour next year as a team leader, and Sky already have Froome, Wiggins and Porte, so there are too many ambitious riders and not enough space to accommodate them.”
According to L’Équipe, Urán’s most likely destination is Omega Pharma-QuickStep. The Belgian team has plenty of top-class riders, but lacks an outstanding contender for the grand tours.
Urán appears to have plenty of untapped potential as a leader. Prior to the Giro, he had ridden all three grand tours on two occasions, always riding in a support role. His best performance was at last year’s corsa rosa when he finished seventh overall and was best young rider. He came into this year’s Giro as a lieutenant to Bradley Wiggins, and has only taken on leadership duties since the Briton departed the race due to illness.
A stage-winner at Altopiano del Montasio, Urán is currently 2:46 down on Giro leader Vincenzo Nibali, but has more than a minute in hand on fourth-placed Michele Scarponi as he attempts to become the first Colombian to finish on the podium.
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Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).
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