Vuelta a Espana 2014: red jersey contenders

Nairo Quitnana, Chris Froome and Joaquim Rodriguez among riders to go head-to-head for red in Spain

Rigoberto Uran’s winter switch to Omega Pharma-Quickstep was done with the aim of challenging for Grand Tour honours, and after his second consecutive runners-up spot at the Giro d’Italia he will bid for more success at the Vuelta.

Giro aside, Uran has largely flown under the radar this season, with his stage win and four days in the maglia rosa his only notable success, alongside a third place at the Tour of Oman.

Rigoberto Uran was the first Colombian to ever pull on the pink jersey when at this year’s Giro d’Italia but lost out to compatriot Nairo Quintana in the mountains (Pic: Sirotti)

However, having returned to action at the Tour de l’Ain, his only race since the Giro d’Italia, Uran will be keen to reignite his battle with compatriot Nairo Quintana in Spain.

Only Quintana was better in the mountains at the Giro d’Italia, while Uran’s time-trialing ability could see him make gains on stages ten and 21.

Riding for the world team time trial champions, Uran could also gain time on his rivals on stage one – with both Quintana and Rodriguez looking to avoid the same losses they suffered during the team time trial at the Giro d’Italia.

Uran’s support squad – which includes Tony Martin, Wout Poels and Pieter Serry – also appears to be among the strongest due on the Jerez startline on Saturday (August 23).

A podium place is definitely within Uran’s reach, but the difference between him and Quintana was stunningly clear at times at the Giro – if Uran wants to stand on the top step of the podium he will face a big task to overturn the deficit.

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