It seems Etixx-Quick-Step are not sold on Rigoberto Uran as a potential Grand Tour winner, with boss Patrick Lefevere hypothesising the Colombian's second place in the 2014 Giro d'Italia may be his high point.
Uran was sitting pretty in the top-10 overall in the Tour de France, but a poor result on stage 11 saw him lose 10 minutes to race leader Chris Froome over the Tourmalet.
And Lefevere says Uran's days with his team may be numbered, depending on his wage expectations for next year, but he wasn't prepared to say that the Colombian was a bad buy.
"Last year he was second in the Giro and he wore a few days the pink," Lefevere is quoted as saying on Sporza.
"Uran is and remains an outsider. I never expected that he would win the Tour. Maybe that second place in the Giro is the highest [he can go]. I have already said several times that there are only four riders who can win the Tour."
Lefevere says that he's glad to wait until the Tour de France before opening contract negotiations with riders - Zdenek Stybar penned a new deal after his stage six win.
But with the team's only real general classification contender seemingly on his way out, Lefevere has already turned his attentions elsewhere - notably Giant-Alpecin's Warren Barguil.
"The four [best riders] are under contract and unachievable. Then you look at the level just below," Lefevere told Het Laastse Nieuws.
"It's wait and see. The Frenchman Warren Barguil may come, but that is still a little while off. Meanwhile, Uran is perhaps the best I can get."
Watch highlights from stage 11 of the Tour de France
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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.
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