Rigoberto Uran on Sunday described his second-place finish at the Giro d’Italia as “massive” after becoming the first Colombian ever to reach the podium of the Italian tour.
Eight years after he left his hometown — Colombia’s second city Medellin — to move to Europe and devote himself to a life of cycling, Sunday’s second place finish is the Colombian rider’s greatest achievement on a bike so far and he spoke to Colombian national newspaper El Tiempo about the “immense happiness” he felt at the race’s end.
“I came to the Giro with a different mentality, to do a different job” he said, referring to his midrace promotion from support for teammate Bradley Wiggins to team leader after the Brit had to retire with a chest infection, before acknowledging the importance of his achievement, adding: “finishing on the podium is really big.”
“It was even better because the race ended in Brescia, where I have lots of friends and family, who were all waiting for me to celebrate” said a jubilant Uran.
The rider from Medellin left no doubt as to how tough the competition was however, with wintry weather conditions making the 80 hour race even more difficult. “The cold, snow and rain made it very hard, especially for us Colombians. It hits us harder because we are used to the heat” explained Uran.
Uran went on to celebrate the healthy state of Colombian cycling, hailing a “new era” and predicting that “in one or two years there is no doubt that a Colombian will win a big race. The quality of the young kids is very high. There are five or six who have a great potential and who I am sure will fight their way to the title of some high calibre event in the near future” he said.
Uran’s team, Sky, has not made any statements on who will lead the team in the Tour de France which is set to begin on June 29, however Uran cast some doubt on whether he will be take part; “we will see how much stamina I have left” he said indicating that he may instead save himself for the Vuelta de Espana and the World Championships this summer.