Rigoberto Urán, the 23-year-old Colombian climbing sensation, said his top goal for 2011 will be to earn a spot for the Tour de France with Team Sky.
Urán, featured in a profile in the latest issue of VeloNews, returned from his first meeting with Team Sky in London. Urán penned a deal to join the UK-backed squad and already has his 2011 season schedule outlined.
“I enjoyed a good week with the team. The staff treated me marvelously, they already gave me a uniform, a bike and my initial training schedule,” Urán told the El Colombiano newspaper. “I am more confident that I will be in the most important early season races, something key for the Tour de France.”
Urán’s season will start with the Ruta del Sol in February, followed by Paris-Nice and the Volta a Catalunya in March. Then he’ll aim for results in April, with the Vuelta al País Vasco, Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. After that, he’ll reload for the Critérium du Dauphiné and what he’s hoping will be a shot at the Tour.
Urán is one of six new arrivals for Team Sky for 2011, moving across from Caisse d’Epargne. Other new riders include Michael Rogers (HTC-Columbia), Jeremy Hunt and Davide Appollonio (Cervélo), Alex Dowsett (Trek-Livestrong) and Xavier Zandio (Caisse d’Epargne).
Team Sky boss David Brailsford said he expects Urán to make important improvements in the coming season.
“Rigoberto is a super-talented rider who has some great results to his name this year and we are delighted that he has committed his future to Team Sky,” Brailsford said in a team release. “He’s a young rider with fantastic prospects, exactly the sort of person we have been keen to get on board. He’s an excellent climber who has already shined in the grand tour environment and I’m sure he will continue to go from strength to strength.”