CyclingTips snagged an exclusive interview with our man Mick and team boss Jonathan Vaughters this morning in Le Puy-en-Velay. This feature perfectly captures the collective sentiment as we head into the final week of Le Tour de France.
Few would have predicted this. Twice runner-up in the Giro d’Italia, then a rider who endured two seasons of Grand Tour disappointments, Rigoberto Uran is back in business. The Colombian is days away from what could be the biggest result of his carer, and people are beginning to notice.
That much was clear at the Cannondale-Drapac team accommodation in Le Puy-en-Velay on Monday morning. The hotel is small and modest and located on a quiet street, but was getting plenty of attention. Fans gathered for autographs before the team’s training ride, while others massed to request signatures and selfies when the riders returned.
Print, radio and TV journalists also turned up, seeking insight from Uran and others. On this, the second rest day of the Tour, there was a palpable buzz of interest around the rider and around the team.
There should be little surprise in that: with six stages remaining in this year’s Tour, the Colombian is just 29 seconds off the yellow jersey currently held by Chris Froome (Team Sky).
He’s 11 seconds adrift of the second-placed rider Fabio Aru (Astana), and a mere six seconds off the podium position of Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale).
There’s everything to race for, and he’s excited.
“I am in a very good condition. We will see what happens in the Alps,” he tells CyclingTips in a one on one interview held on Monday morning. “You can be quite relaxed when you are well and when you can be with the best riders in the mountains.
“I feel good, and the team is very strong. I want to keep improving as I’m close to the podium and am only 29 seconds back from yellow. It’s not much…”
You know the drill. Want to read more? Head on over to CyclingTips for the full feature.