Dec 18, 2014 – With the ascension of Nairo Quintana at the Giro, the dominance of Vincenzo Nibali at Le Tour and the battle between Alberto Contador and Chris Froome at La Vuelta, it’s easy to overlook Rigoberto Uran as a grand tour threat, but he hopes to change that with an ambitious 2015 schedule which includes the Giro – Tour double. His early season will begin in Colombia with the national championships where he will ride the time trial and road race on the 7th and 8th of February.

peloton/Yuzuru Sunada/E-QS PR

Following the first Etixx-Quick-Step training camp in Olivia, Spain, Uran sat down with team management to outline his 2015 campaign and the team shared his comments in a recent press release. 

“The time trial is on a parcours of 47 kilometers, which are up and down and in the East part of the Antioquia province,” Uran said. “It’s a nice parcours that I like a lot. The road race parcours will start in Medellin, and will start with a straight stretch and finish with a three-lap circuit of the same parcours of the time trial. I start with the ambition that I’d like to win the time trial, and do the best I can in the road race. It would be an honor to wear the Colombian champion jersey in the European races, and be like an ambassador of my country. But I know the competitors are strong. The level is growing a lot in the last years. So it won’t be easy. But in any case it will be a great experience for me. I haven’t rode in Colombia in years, since I’ve been racing in Europe.  So it will be a great occasion for my fans to come and follow the race and support me live, and not on television like they have to do when I race in Europe.”

The debut in Europe for the Colombian Etixx – Quick-Step rider will be in Classic Sud Ardeche. Uran will then race Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico. After the short Italian stage race, Rigo will race Volta ao Catalunya and then Tour de Romandie leading into the Giro d’Italia.

“I am really excited about my program and the races I have to do,” Uran said. “We chose a different approach than last year. In 2014 I started my season in Tour of Oman. This year we decided to change my race calendar a bit. I plan on racing ‘The Double’ (Giro d’Italia, Tour de France). I will be racing two big grand tours, which changes my calendar needs a bit. About the Giro, I saw the parcours and I think I can do well. It is suited to my skills. There is also a long time trial. Everyone knows I work a lot on the time trial discipline in order to improve my performance. I think an approach similar to the one we had last year, such as reconnaissance and specific training, means I can do well again. In the past two years I was on the overall podium of the Giro, so of course my objective is to be there among the best, even this year. The Giro is a special race where anything can happen at any moment, but my goal is to be there and ready for the race no matter what can happen each day. I can count on a great team that now has one year more of experience in the big stage races. They know how to do it and they are even more motivated to do well there. I can also say that with Italy I have a great relationship. I have a lot of supporters there, for example in Gavardo (province of Brescia) I have a fan club that always follow me. They don’t care if I win or lose. They are there for me regardless.”

Uran will return, after three years, to the Tour de France following the Giro.

“I rode already the Tour de France in 2009 and 2011,” Uran said. “In 2011 I wore the white jersey for six days. It was an unforgettable experience. I am really happy to come back to this race, one of the top races in the world. I know it is difficult to do the Giro and the Tour at a high level, but as you know I like to think about things race-by-race and I am able to focus on two different objectives during my season in this way. My approach will be different at the Tour than at the Giro. I will try to go there to do well, but it will be more linked to rediscovering the race and to stage hunt. But of course I’d also like to do well in the last week, and give a hand to the team when necessary. About my program after the Tour, it is not yet decided. I want to focus on the intense part of my season that will be a great opportunity for me. I can ride the races I love and I am super motivated to do it.”