Tour de France 2017: 'Nobody else knew it, but Rigoberto Uran came here to win the Tour'

Rigoberto Uran's second-placed finish at the Tour de France was short of what the Colombian came to the race to do.

Rigoberto Uran leads Romain Bardet on stage 15 of the Tour de France
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

Rigoberto Uran finishing second at the Tour de France may have shocked most of the cycling world - but it actually fell short of what the Colombian had aimed to do.

The Cannondale-Drapac rider has been the surprise of the 2017 Tour, winning stage nine and being within touching distance of the yellow jersey throughout the entirety of the race.

Ahead of the penultimate stage time trial in Marseille he sat 29 seconds off Team Sky's Chris Froome and had an outside chance of bettering the Briton's time and seizing the maillot jaune. Froome, however, posted the quicker time to all but win the Tour by 54 seconds from Uran.

>>> Chris Froome secures historic fourth Tour de France victory

Uran had been confident of overhauling Froome in the final week, even if his team tempered such expectations. But after the finish in the south of France, Cannondale-Drapac boss Jonathan Vaughters admitted that winning the race had been the ambition all along.

"We would have liked to have won the Tour de France. Nobody else knew it, but we came to the race to win the Tour de France," Vaughters said.

"Rigo believes in himself always. He was more confident than all of us. He was very convinced that he was here to do something special. He pulled off an incredible ride, but Froome was more incredible."

Vaughters spoke outside the Stade Vélodrome, surrounded by his colleagues at Cannondale-Drapac who were hugging one another and giving each other high-fives in congratulations.

>>> Football shirts and flag waving: The Colombian fans who cheer their Tour de France heroes no matter what

Even if Uran had hoped for the top step, his team were delighted having secured a spot on the podium in Paris.

"I expected a top-five," Vaughters said. "Second is beyond my expectations and I am quite happy.

"You do everything to win the Tour and if you end up second, and you've done everything you can, you have to be happy."

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1