Rigoberto Uran takes over Sky leadership at Giro d'Italia after Wiggins withdraws

Rigoberto Uran, stage winner, Giro d'Italia 2013, stage 10

Bradley Wiggins' withdrawal from the race due to illness means Colombian Rigoberto Uran will assume Sky's Giro d'Italia leadership. The 26-year-old, winner of last year's young jersey classification, currently sits third overall at 2-04 minutes.

"Yeah, for sure, Rigoberto's the leader now," Sky principal, David Brailsford told journalists including Cycling Weekly.

"The team will get right behind Rigoberto and keep on racing all the way to Brescia [when the race ends - ed.]. He looks in good shape, to be honest. It'll be great to try to compete for the podium or even better."

Uran won the race's first summit finish to Altopiano del Montasio on Tuesday. His win prompted speculation that he may contend for the overall. Wiggins' 3-17-minute loss, brought on by a chest infection, paved the way for Sky's long-haired, smiling Colombian.

After Wiggins' turn for the worse in Treviso, he sat 13th at 5-22 minutes behind leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana). On Friday morning, the team announced that Wiggins would not start stage 13 due to a chest infection.

Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) is only back 41 seconds in second place. Uran and a handful of other contenders are within two minutes' striking distance of the leader's pink jersey.

Brailsford, despite Wiggins' troubles, is grateful for a GC-strong team. In addition to Chris Froome and Richie Porte, who are focusing on the Tour de France, he has Uran ready to step up.

"We have a great position in the race and we are still in a good position in the GC," Brailsford added. "When Brad broke his collarbone in the 2011 Tour, we lost our purpose a little a bit, we had to go from GC to trying for stages. Here, however, we still feel that we are competitive in the race."

Brailsford said the team would decide tomorrow morning if Wiggins would continue. If he does, his goal could be winning the mountain time trial in Polsa next week and helping 'Rigo' win.

Wiggins said after the Montasio stage on Tuesday that Uran can be inconsistent.

"You know, there's a time trial," Wiggins explained. "He's quite inconsistent like that, he can have a really good day, win a stage like today and then lose a few seconds tomorrow. We'll have to see how he feels."

Related links

Wiggins battles on in Giro with illness

Giro d'Italia 2013: Previews and race info

Giro d'Italia 2013: Coverage index

Giro d'Italia 2013: British TV schedule

Giro 2013: 10 things you need to know

Giro d'Italia 2013: The Big Preview

Giro d'Italia 2013: Stage reports

Stage 12: Cavendish takes 100th win as Wiggins' Giro bid faltrs

Stage 11: Navardauskas wins as favourites enjoy day off

Stage 10: Uran wins as Wiggins and Hesjedal lose time

Stage nine: Belkov takes solo win as Wiggins put under pressure

Stage eight: Dowsett wins as Nibali takes race lead

Stage seven: Wiggins crashes as Hansen wins

Stage six: Cavendish wins stage six of Giro

Stage five: Degenkolb avoids crash to take win

Stage four: Battaglin sprints to first Giro stage win

Stage three: Paolini takes charge

Stage two: Sky wins team time trial

Stage one: Cavendish wins opener

Giro d'Italia 2013: Photo galleries

Photos by Graham Watson

Stage 12 gallery

Stage 11 gallery

Stage 10 gallery

Stage nine gallery

Stage eight gallery

Stage seven gallery

Stage six gallery

Stage five gallery

Stage four gallery

Stage three gallery

Stage two gallery

Stage one gallery

Team presentation gallery

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