Sky Procycling puts everything on Rigoberto Uran in the mountains
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sky Procycling puts everything on Rigoberto Uran in the mountains

by Conal Andrews at 8:06 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Boasson Hagen pledges his support

Rigoberto UranWith Bradley Wiggins out of the race, the Sky Procycling team will instead put its full backing behind Rigoberto Uran in the mountains of the Tour de France. The Colombian rider started today’s stage 36th overall, seven minutes 20 seconds behind the race leader Thomas Voeckler, and four minutes 54 seconds behind the first of the overall contenders, Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team).

He’s a strong climber and while Geraint Thomas is five places and one minute 29 seconds ahead of him, the team has decided to back him for the general classification.

“I certainly think there’s going to be a big shake-up among the first 20 or so. We’ll be hoping that Rigoberto will be in there and moving himself up the classement,” said directeur sportif Sean Yates.

He is convinced that the race is going to be transformed, starting today. “Now it's a big change of scenery - everyone has already had a hard 11 days and we haven’t even hit the mountains yet. There are a lot of tired legs and also a certain amount of anticipation as to exactly what’s going to happen – will Contador attack and so on

“Everyone is a bit nervous as there’s no one team that’s having to do all the work. Usually it’s everyone trailing Alberto and his team doing all the work but not this time; they are not going to take up the work and the other teams seem a little bit uneasy in terms of who they should be co-operating with.”

Uran has a history of riding strongly in big races. After netting seventh in last year’s Tour de Suisse, he placed fifth overall in the 2011 Volta a Catalunya and was also fifth in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Because of that, team-mate Edvald Boasson Hagen has said that he will balance personal ambitions with helping his team-mate out in the days ahead. “It’s been nice to have these opportunities in the sprints but my job will change now and I’ll be working to help Rigoberto in the mountains if I am unable to get in a break,” he stated yesterday evening.

“We will still have the freedom to do that early in the day because there is a chance it could stay away, but if the move goes and I am not in it, that is the plan. I hope I can do a good job for him and he is able to climb well.”

He missed out on getting into today’s early move, but his team-mate Thomas is there. He’ll therefore ride for Uran today, and knows he will have another chance on Friday. “The day after tomorrow could be a good one for a breakaway as well and I would like to get in that, but from then on it will be about taking things day by day and just riding as well as possible.”

The big Norwegian rider won last Thursday’s stage and got involved again yesterday. He finished fifth, but Yates feels that he would have done better had the leadup to the sprint not been so chaotic. “I didn’t see today's finish properly but it was clearly fairly hectic. Eddy said he got bumped off the wheel and it didn’t quite work out in the end,” he said.

"He didn’t really get a clean sprint because of the way he got a bit baulked but they were in there and trying to do the business. And Cav [Cavendish] was in the sort of shape that he can, win no matter what.”

Still, he’s pleased with how the team has knuckled down after Wiggins went out of the race last Friday. If Uran can show his best form, he can do something in the days ahead; either way, the team will ride aggressively in this tougher terrain.


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