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by Shane Stokes
September 10, 2014
He was one of the big contenders coming into the Vuelta a España but Rigoberto Uran’s race has ended five days early due to a worsening of the illness which has been affecting him in recent days.
The Giro d’Italia runner-up finished second in the stage 10 time trial, beating all of the general classification contenders, and jumped up to third overall. He showed signs of weakness on stage 14, sliding to sixth, and then further dropped from sixth to 16th overall on Monday’s stage.
Suffering from asthmatic bronchitis, the timing of Tuesday’s day off gave an opportunity for him to recover but unfortunately for the rider and his team this didn’t happen.
“We were hoping that the rest day could help, but in the last 24 hours the situation has become even worse,” stated Uran. “You can’t race in these conditions. I’m really disappointed but this really is the wisest decision.”
He still has goes this month and will undergo medical checks in Belgium at the start of next week. His team hopes that this will give him the opportunity to recover in time for the Ponferrada worlds.
“Now the objective is to try to recover in time for the World Championships and be useful to the team for the World Championship TTT that will open the rainbow series,” he said.
He uses the form he was in prior to becoming in as the basis for some guarded optimism, although he knows that there are no guarantees.
“Fundamentally I’m in good shape so I’d really like to be there. Of course, my participation will depend on what the test results say these next few days,” he said. “The team and I don’t want to take any risks in the end of the season if the bronchial problems should continue.”
The Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider has had a solid season, with his results including that runner-up slot in the Giro d’Italia, victory in the stage 12 time trial and a stint in the pink jersey of race leader. He was also third overall in the Tour of Oman.