Jonathan Vaughters believes his Cannondale leader Rigoberto Uran can challenge the likes of Vincenzo Nibali and Alejandro Valverde for the Giro d'Italia title
The Colombian hasn’t managed to hit the heights he achieved in 2013 and 2014 in recent seasons, but will lead Cannondale into the year’s first Grand Tour with a strong team around him.
Unlike in recent years with Etixx-Quick Step, Uran will have a team of domestiques dedicated to helping his title shot, with a lot of young climbing talent.
“Rigo is our leader in the Giro because he is a tough rider over three weeks,” Vaughters said, quoted on Biciciclismo. “He is a tough, smart rider. Consistency is the key to making a great result, and that’s what I see in Rigo at the moment.
“He has finished second twice in the Giro and has two stage wins. He may lack the power of [Vincenzo] Nibali, but he is a very smart rider.”
Secrets of the Cannondale toolbox
Vaughters brought in Uran to lead his Giro squad in the offseason following the departure of Ryder Hesjedal to Trek-Segafredo.
Uran will be surrounded by the likes of Davide Formolo – stage winner in the 2015 Giro, Ramunas Navardauskas and Joe Dombrowski over the three weeks in Italy, a team that has the average age of just 26.
“We have made no secret that the Giro is our goal for the season,” Vaughters continued. “It’s a big goal for us, and the riders have proper preparation.
“This is the Giro, so you’re never completely ready, although the team is ready. Rigo is going well and has a very good squad around him. He has a very good chance to win.”