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"I think I am good. I am here to support the team in the first week, and then we will see what I can do in the second part of the race. A stage victory will be really be icing on the cake. I really would like to get one victory at...

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RIGOBERTO URAN

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SOUDAL - QUICK STEP

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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03.07.2015 @ 21:28 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Rigoberto Uran goes into his third Tour de France as part of the strongEtixx-Quick Step team with Mark Cavendish, Michal Kwiatkowski and Tony Martin. The Colombia starts after failing to perform at his best in the Giro d'Italia where he was set back by illness in the first half. Now he has renewed confidence and form after he trained at altitude in Livigno for three weeks. "Everything that comes is a bonus," said Uran whose first priority is to get through the first week.

 

Uran feaces the Tour de France "with enthusiasm because I haven't been here for several years - not since 2011 where I wore the white jerser a nd finished 24th - and it is clear that it is a big race. It is my first with Etixx because the last time I was with Sky."

 

First and foremost , he's happy because he is happy the Tour at 100% unlike the Giro d'Italia that he started with a cold a later suffered frombronchitis. "First, I'm very happy because I am fully recovered from my problems. I am very good physically, so for me whatever comes will be a bonus. Clearly I'm in a team with a lot of strong riders with a good name and level. I am glad to be with them the Tour, and it is the strongest team of the Tour for sure," he says. Mark Cavendish, Michal Kwiatkowski, Tony Martin, Michal Golas, Mark Renshaw, Zdenek Stybar, Matteo Trentin and Julien Vermote are his teammates in the Belgian outfit.

 

The first week is critical for Etixx-Quick Step. "The Tour is always stressful, this year maybe more, with wind, cobblestones ... In this sense, it is clear that I am in a team that does well in those stages. The first week is very important for us, with finishes which suit Kwiatkowski, and there is a team time trial where we we can do very well. For me it is about surviving the first week and then we'll see," he said. His time will come in the mountains. "I am ambitious, but for us the main thing is to get through the first week without problems," he said.

 

In the 40 days between the Giro and the Tour he has not competed, but has prepared to be in the best possible shape. "I rested but I've also done a training camp at altitude. I worked three weeks in Livigno. It was my first time there and I was very comfortable. I am quite good after I finished Giro with all the problems. I'm fine and I'm excited to return to the Tour," he said.

 

His first major objective for which he prepared well, was a Giro d'Italia where he was sick and faded to finish 14th. "I am a little sad because I had prepared very well. I was second in 2013 and 2014 but did not start well. We decided not to say anything about the cold. However, in the end it was bronchitis and it affected me a lot. I tried to survive but it was impossible. In the end I was a little better. But it bothers me a little. For me the Giro is over and now I will look at the Tour. At least, I could finish well. I was third in Cervinia and Sestriere and I have recovered. I will not look back," he explains.

 

Uran believes it is too early to predict who will win the race. "They have not shown their cards at the moment. But everybody tries to prepare as best as possible. We must wait for the first mountain stages," he said. 

 

"I think I am good. I am here to support the team in the first week, and then we will see what I can do in the second part of the race. A stage victory will be really be icing on the cake. I really would like to get one victory at Le Tour.

 

"I have good memories of this race when I wore the white jersey a few years ago. To me, as a Colombian guy, it is really a dream to be here and defend the colors of Etixx - Quick-Step in the best race in the world."

 

After the Tour, his schedule is unclear. "We have not discussed anything. After the Tour, I will talk to the team and look at what I can do," he concluded

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