Rigoberto Urán headlines EF Education-Nippo’s Tour de France squad
EF Education-Nippo unveiled its Tour de France roster on Tuesday with Rigoberto Urán headlining a squad that features a combination of strong support riders and potential stagehunters.
Urán will be joined by climbing specialists Sergio Higuita, Neilson Powless, and Ruben Guerreiro, as well as a quartet of riders with big engines in Stefan Bissegger, Magnus Cort, Michael Valgren, and Jonas Rutsch.
“In Switzerland it was better than I expected obviously,” said Urán, who won the stage 7 time trial and took GC runner-up honors at the recent Tour de Suisse. “When you win it gives you extra motivation, it means that the work you are doing is going well and before the Tour de France I felt good. I will go day by day. The Tour de France is a very long race and anything can happen. I hope I am in good health and that everything goes well.”
The team is planning to ride this year’s race the way the team rode the 2017 Tour, when Urán rode to second overall and also won a stage.
“In 2017, we never rode a defensive strategy. It was an open race, we encouraged the guys to take chances. Each day we will have someone helping Rigo, but he’s such a strategic racer that he doesn’t need an entire team dedicated to him anyways,” team CEO Jonathan Vaughters said.
“If you take each day as an individual race, we’ve got a rider who can win that stage each day. It’s a very dynamic squad. And win in different situations. There are a lot of different opportunities. I’m excited for everyone.”