Remember the London Olympics, one of the most generous in-race riders, Vinokourov, finished his career in the finest way possible. He had attacked with Rigoberto Uran & just after an exchange of words within the final 500m, Rigo decided to take his eyes off his only rival for the gold medal & Vino took the win. Uran can be an excellent single day rider, along with having the rare ability to take a podium position in a grand tour. His future looks especially bright now that he’s presumably learnt some of the technicalities of modern training & also escaped the shackles of a Team Sky, with their pre-formed leaders, who only allow others to shine after their chosen team leader falters.
Omega Pharma Quick Step love national champions jerseys, but they especially love World Championship jerseys. With intelligent businessman Rigo moving to that team in 2014, I assume that Partick Lefevere has a significant performance bonus written into the contract of all his riders if manage to take the Worlds bands with them to his team, it’s worth a lot in publicity. On the other hand, the Olympic road race isn’t particularly marketable compared to a rainbow jersey, so there’s probably a tiny bonus in comparison for an Olympic gold medal. A retiring rider such as Vino, who is still incredibly popular in Kazakstan, would benefit greatly form an Olympic medal, similar to the British public in their understanding of the Olympics, but not necessarily the Worlds.
So I’m putting my favourite out there for the 2013 Worlds road race, Rigoberto Uran. He looks to me like he’s not fully committed to a Vuelta podium, going through the motions, but will be using it to gain condition for the World Championships shortly afterwards. Worth a bet, if only I could find some odds, anybody know?
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