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Colombian aiming to improve on his runner-up spots from 2013 and 2014.

Photo: Sirotti

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03.05.2016 @ 11:29 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

The relationship between the Giro d’Italia and Colombian Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale) has always been a happy and mutually beneficial one. Prior to the start of this year’s race, Uran is optimistic about his winning chances even though most observers do not include his name on their list of favourites.

 

In 2012, Uran made his breakthrough as a grand tour contender in the Giro, finishing seventh overall. The following year, riding for Team Sky, Uran stepped into the limelight when his team leader Bradley Wiggins abandoned, and Uran proceeded to take second place behind Vincenzo Nibali. He was the runner-up in 2014 again, this time behind his compatriot Nairo Quintana.

 

“I’ve been second twice and this year I want to take victory,” Uran told Cyclingnews. “Every year is special because every year I train to win. Sometimes it is not possible because that’s cycling. This year it is good. I am happy with my preparation.”

 

In 2015, Uran’s Giro accomplishments took a serious dent. However, he puts his 14th place at last year’s race down to a lack of support in the mountains from his Etixx-Quickstep team mates. At this year’s race, Uran will be able to draw on the support of young climbers Joe Dombrowski and Davide Formolo, as well as the more experienced Andre Cardoso.

 

“I’m happy because the team is really strong on both the climbs and the flat. We have four guys who are strong on the climbs and then three who are strong on the flat, and this is a good combination,” explained Uran.

 

Uran has had a steady, if unspectacular, build-up to the Giro this year. Despite crashing during the team time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico, he appeared to be riding towards some form with 10th place at the Volta a Catalunya before heading to Tenerife for an altitude training camp.

Staying true to tradition, Uran has gone home to Colombia for his altitude training camp.

 

In his final tune-up for the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de Romandie, the Colombian failed to start the 5th stage. That has not diminished Uran’s optimism, though.

 

“It’s important to be on the podium or in the top 5 because it’s a big race but I’ve been second twice, and now I think it is the best opportunity to win this race.”

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