Posted: Saturday 24th May 2014 at 4:26 am

Rigoberto Uran claims Giro d’Italia lead is ‘nothing’


Having claimed the overall lead on Thursday’s individual time trial, Uran’s first day in pink was a 157-kilometre flat stage from Fossano to Rivarolo Canavese but the Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider dismissed suggestions it was easy due to more wild weather in Italy.

The Colombian leads former leader Cadel Evans (BMC) by 37 seconds with Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) 1:52 adrift, while Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Wilco Kelderman (Belkin) are within three minutes of Uran.

Ahead of Saturday’s stage 14 – a 164km trek from Aglie to Oropa in the foothills of the Alps – that will include a category three climb, followed by two category one ascents, which are split by a category two, Uran believes his lead is tenuous.

“There’s still a long way to go and every day anything can happen,” Uran said after Friday’s stage.

“I got a good gap yesterday and that means I’m going well but (Nairo) Quintana, Pozzovivo and Majka are still there.

“It seems like a big gap but in the end, it’s nothing.”

Uran finished 24th in stage 12 as Omega Pharma-Quick Step kept him safe at the front of the peloton, with a breakaway of Marco Canola, Jackson Rodriguez and Angelo Tulik claiming the podium positions.

But Uran still felt the pressure of retaining the pink leader’s jersey after yet another day of wild weather saw the peloton ride through a hail storm at one point on Friday.

“It wasn’t a calm day. It was very stressful in the finale because it was raining and the road was dangerous,” Uran said.

“The only calm day is the rest day on Monday. We had to ride at the front today because we didn’t want to risk a crash. But the real climbs start tomorrow and I’m feeling good.”

Uran finished second in the Giro last year, while riding for Team Sky, taking over as captain after Bradley Wiggins pulled out.

But the 27-year-old Colombian feels he is in a better position to triumph this year, as Omega Pharma-Quick Step have build their team around him.

“My condition is good this year. I had good condition last year, too, but this time I’m a captain and I’ve got a team built around me,” Uran said.

“We’re at this Giro to win and we’re in a good position.”

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