Rigoberto Uran hopes to top the Giro d’Italia podium in 2015, after two years of playing the bridesmaid to Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana.
But standing between the Etixx-Quick-Step rider and the maglia rosa is a daunting 59.2km time trial on stage 14, but the Colombian insists he loves the route.
It is the longest time trial the Giro has held since 2009, when riders had to suffer through 60.6km, and former Team Sky rider Uran says the length makes it hard to predict his rivals’ performances.
“It’s a nice parcours that I really love,” Uran said, who was in northern Italy to recce the route this week. “This time trial comes after two weeks of racing at the Giro. So it can be key, because energy levels of all riders will be at the limit after that amount of racing.
“It could be important for the GC because after about an an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and 20 minutes of time trialing, time differences can be pretty significant.
“How a rider can do in this kind of time trial is difficult to predict, because yes, the first stretch is really flat. But when you enter into the small hills you have to pay attention and really keep the effort even in the final kilometers with the difficult sections.
“It’s a completely different chrono if you compare it with the time trial I won last year. But I am confident.”
The absence of Nibali and Quintana this year will not make Uran’s task any easier, however, with Alberto Contador also targeting the race.
Leopold König and Richie Porte will line up for Team Sky, while the Astana youngster Fabio Aru also among the favourites.