Rigoberto Urán, one of the most prominent names in the world of Colombian cycling, once again expressed his concern and regret for the current situation of cycling in Colombia. Urán's words are a true reflection of the drop in the level of cycling in the South American country in recent years.
"It screwed us all," Urán stated bluntly, referring to a crucial aspect that deeply affected Colombian cycling: Egan Bernal's accident in early 2022. On that occasion, the Tour de France champion was involved in a collision with a fleet of vehicles, an incident that, according to Urán, had a devastating impact on the morale and performance of Colombian cyclists.
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Urán's sincerity is remarkable, and his words are a reminder that, in the world of sport, even the most successful athletes can face difficult times. The current season has not been Urán's best, and this adds to a difficult time for Colombian cyclists in general, who are struggling to keep pace with the best in Europe.
The absence of a Colombian rider in the elite of world cycling is evident when you look at the names that dominate the competitions. Tadej Pogacar, Jonas Vingegaard, Primoz Roglic and Remco Evenepoel are some of the names at the top of the list of the biggest stars in cycling today, and Colombia is conspicuously absent from this constellation of talent.
The crisis is further exacerbated when recent results are analyzed. Colombia has failed to achieve even a top 10 finish in the grand tours so far in 2023, and the possibility of a performance close to that level in the current Vuelta a España seems very distant.
In the interview with Semana, Urán identified Egan Bernal's crash in 2022 as a critical turning point in the trajectory of Colombian cycling. Urán regretted this event and expressed his concern about the lack of Colombian cyclists competing in the grand tours.
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"If we look at who was the last Colombian to win a grand tour on the podium, we have to go back to 2019 with Egan Bernal, who won the Tour de France," Urán said. "Unfortunately, we have faced difficulties, like Egan's crash, which affected all of us. Also, the issue of Nairo and Superman (Lopez), they are very strong riders who could be in Europe winning races, representing Colombia. So, let's say that something is missing".
Rigoberto Urán's words highlight the urgency of recovering the prominence of Colombian cycling on the world stage and offer a vision of the situation from the perspective of an experienced cyclist who longs to see his country once again at the top of the cycling sport. The hope and commitment of Colombian cyclists, led by figures like Urán, could be the key to overcoming this difficult stage and returning to glory in major cycling competitions.