(AFP) – Rigoberto Uran, second in last year’s Tour de France, said on Thursday that he plans to focus on the details as he leads the EF-Drapac team in this year’s race.
“Everything in July is top level – every rider, every stage, every second. It all matters,” said Uran, who last year finished 54 seconds behind Chris Froome.
“I need to focus for 21 days. It’s important to focus in the race, at the dinner table, for the sleep. From the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep, it’s like the World Championships every single day for three weeks.”
Uran is making his fifth appearance in the Tour. He was the third Colombian to finish on the final podium, but while riders from the country have won the King of the Mountains five times, none has won the Tour itself.
Jonathan Vaughters, the team’s chief executive, said Uran is “someone that truly believes he can win the race. We built this team around helping him fulfil that objective.”
The team contains three men who rode alongside Uran last year: former team leader Pierre Rolland, Simon Clarke and Taylor Phinney. Two men, Tom Scully and 22-year-old Colombian Dani Martinez are making their Tour debuts. Lawson Craddock and Sep Vanmarcke, who specialises in classics over cobblestones complete the octet.
EF Education First-Drapac Tour de France team: Rigoberto Uran, Simon Clarke, Lawson Craddock, Dani Martinez, Taylor Phinney, Pierre Rolland, Tom Scully, Sep Vanmarcke