Rigoberto Uran Extends Contract with Cannondale-Drapac Team
Team Cannondale-Drapac, owned by Slipstream Sports, on Monday announced a contract extension with Tour de France runner-up Rigoberto Uran. The Colombian has committed to a three-year deal with Slipstream Sports.
"I'm very happy with the team," Uran said in a statement. "The environment here suits me. I have a lot of respect for the people that are part of the team – the mechanics, the soigneurs, my teammates and the rest of the staff. They know how to have fun off the bike and be serious when it's time to race. That's important to me."
One of the main reasons for Uran to remain with Team Cannondale-Drapac is a deal with the team management, which allows Uran to focus on the Tour de France as the main goal of the season - in similar fashion as other Tour de France general classification contenders such as Team Sky' Christopher Froome and AG2R's Romain Bardet.
"A three-year contract offers security and the team is willing to allow me to focus my season on the Tour de France. I was very happy to sign," Uran explained to Roadcycling.com.
Uran has already been with the Cannondale team for two seasons. The 30-year-old joined Slipstream Sports from Etixx – Quick-Step. However, his early tenure with the team was disrupted by illness as he battled bronchitis during the 2016 Giro d'Italia and his 2017 Ardennes classics campaign was derailed by a particularly nasty cold. But Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters kept believing in Uran's talent and will-power at all times - even when things looked especially somber and meager.
"Cycling is a sport where riders have a bad year or two and they get written off quickly," Vaughters explained. "And let me qualify that Uran's 'bad year' included a seventh place finish at the Giro d'Italia while racing with bronchitis. We knew what he was capable of."
Missing out on key objectives during his first 18 months with Cannondale-Drapac made his success in this year's Tour de France even sweeter. Uran was able to string together a four-week block where his health and his form were both optimal. The result culminated in both Uran's and Slipstream Sports' most successful Tour de France campaign to date.
"The goal of the team was to win a stage and finish in the top five overall," Uran commented. "We won a stage and came second. It was very good for the team and very good for me."
Despite all that Uran has accomplished, he has yet to win a professional stage race, which has caused some fans to nickname him Raymond Poulidor after the legendary French cyclist who never won the Tour and was thus referred to as The Eternal Second.
"Always second," Uran noted pragmatically and laughed.
Uran aims to change that with Cannondale-Drapac and he has his sights set on cycling's biggest prize.
"I'll race many races, and I have many goals," said Uran. "The biggest, of course, is the Tour de France. I want to win the Tour."
"We're fully prepared to support Uran in this pursuit," Vaughters explained. “His ambition is one that we share and the team is excited to work with him on his biggest goal. Rigo is a great mentor and leader. He inspires people in good times and bad times."
Rigoberto Uran key stats:
Date of Birth: 26 January 1987
Residence: Monaco, France
1st Tour de France stage nine (2017)
1st Giro d'Italia stage 10 (2013)
1st Giro d'Italia stage 12 (2014)
1st GP Quebec (2015)
2nd Tour de France (2017)
2nd Giro d'Italia general classification (2013, 2015)