Etixx - Quick-Step rider Rigoberto Uran finished 3rd after taking his chances on the Category 1 Cervinia summit finale of 236km Giro d'Italia Stage 19 on Friday.
The Colombian rider found good legs on a stage with three consecutive Category 1 ascents, while the peloton split into small groups all over the road. Uran was in a chase group behind Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Mikel Landa (Astana), Steven Kruijswijk (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) and others, while Fabio Aru (Astana) led solo ahead of Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale-Garmin) on the final climb.
Uran worked his way to the maglia rosa group just after a tunnel. He then accelerated away from the group with about 3.5km remaining, and held his power until the line. Aru won solo by 28" on Hesjedal in 2nd place. Uran rounded out the podium, a minute and 10 seconds down. Aru gained time on Contador in the maglia rosa group, which crossed the finish line a minute and 18 seconds down.
Contador remains the race leader by 4'37" on Aru, and 5'15" on Landa.
Etixx - Quick-Step looks next to the penultimate stage of the Giro d'Italia on Saturday. Stage 20, from Sint Vincent to Sestriere, includes the Cima Coppi late in the race: Colle Delle Finestre. This very challenging ascent peaks at the 171.1km mark. The peloton will then have to descend before the Category 3 summit finale in Sestriere.
"The last week is a week to try to get the best out of each stage," Uran said. "My goal was to try to do a good race and see what can happen. At the beginning I tried to also enter into a few breakaways, but they didn't let us go. I stayed there in the peloton until we reached the last climb here in Cervinia. I felt good and comfortable. When they first started attacking I responded. We were with six riders. But when they attacked again I couldn't follow. I decided to take my tempo and recover. I found on the road Amador, Nieve, and Kangert. We collaborated with Amador, but he lost contact with us on the climb. I was there only with Nieve and Kangert. They had a teammate in front, so it was clear they wouldn't try something to compromise that. So in the tunnel I attacked them. At the end of the tunnel I could see Contador and the others. I attacked my group and came back to the maglia rosa group. Then, when I arrived there, I knew Aru was already gone along with Hesjedal. At that point I did my best to play my card. I went immediately and I took a small gap. I really did everything I could and at the end I was 3rd. So, considering everything, I am happy. As I said already, the Giro ends on Sunday, every stage is an opportunity. Every day we will fight, even with all the problems we've had here in this Giro. To be honest I am happy I was able to stay with the best and finish the stage among the top guys of the peloton."