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Urán extends with Cannondale-Drapac for three years

Colombian rider Rigoberto Urán has extended his contract with Cannondale-Drapac for another three years, the team announced on Monday.

Colombian rider Rigoberto Urán has extended his contract with Cannondale-Drapac for another three years, the team announced on Monday.

The deal ends several weeks of speculation as to whether the Tour de France runner-up would remain with the squad or land elsewhere.

“I’m very happy with the team,” Urán said in a team statement. “The environment here suits me. I have lots of respect for the people that are part of the team—the mechanics, the soigneurs, the staff, my teammates. They know how to have fun off the bike and be serious when it’s time to race.”

The 30-year-old Urán joined Cannondale-Drapac in 2016 from Etixx-Quick Step, and previously rode for Sky and Caisse d’Epargne. Twice a runner-up at the Giro d’Italia, Urán brought his star power to new heights at the 2017 Tour de France, winning one stage and finishing second overall, just 54 seconds behind winner Chris Froome. The result marked the best Tour finish for the Cannondale-Drapac organization in the team’s history.

Urán’s impressive finish came after more than a year of near misses with the Cannondale squad. Uran reportedly battled bronchitis during the 2016 Giro d’Italia, where he finished seventh overall.

In 2017 Urán’s luck improved. According to the team, the Colombian was able to put together an uninhibited four-week block of training in the lead up to the Tour, which boosted his form during the three-week race.

Urán’s extension comes on the heels of news that Cannondale will lose three of its up-and-coming Italian for 2018. Davide Formolo will leave for Bora-Hansgrohe next season, and his countryman Davide Villella will head to Astana. Also departing is Alberto Bettiol, who is heading to BMC Racing.

Urán said his goal now is to win the Tour de France. Team General Manger Jonathan Vaughters said the squad is “fully prepared” to support Uran’s ambitions.

“His ambition is one that we share, and the team is excited to work with him on his biggest goal,” Vaughters said. “Rigo is a great mentor and leader. Good times and bad, he inspires people.”