• Uran and Bardet congratulate each other on the podium. (Getty)Source: Getty
Cannondale-Drapac's Rigoberto Uran continued Colombia's streak of near misses at the Tour de France, while Romain Bardet (AG2R) considers what could have been if the Marseille TT went differently.
Cycling Central

24 Jul 2017 - 10:13 AM 

Uran and Bardet rounded out the podium in Paris, with Uran finishing just 54 seconds behind race winner Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Bardet third at 2m20s.

Uran was typically deadpan about what was undoubtedly the performance of his career.

“Finishing second to Froome at less than a minute seems pretty good to me,” said Uran.

“It’s a quality final podium in Paris, so this is the greatest success of my career. This result is dedicated to my family, friends, my team and everyone who has supported me during the last three weeks.”

“I don’t like to talk up my chances because cycling is a sport where the legs do the talking, and you have to wait until the end, but we knew I was coming into the Tour in good shape,” said Uran. “The most important thing this year was that I lost time in the time trial on the opening day. After that there wasn’t a lot of difference. This gives me hope.”

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Uran's time trial prowess catapulted him into second place, overtaking Bardet. Uran's Tour was also notable for his photo-finish stage win on Stage 9, where he outsprinted Warren Barguil (Sunweb) despite a mechanical problem limiting Uran to just two gears.

"You race to win. You train to win. You organise a team to win,” said Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “The other 200 guys also want to win. While winning is always the goal, second place is certainly an incredibly worthy achievement in the Tour de France.

We played the game as best we could, from Rigo to all the staff that make it happen. We gave 100 per cent, and you always have to be happy with that.”

Indeed, Vaughters must be overjoyed with success on cycling's biggest stage, with Slipstream Sports announcing a partnership deal with media company Oath and teasing another major sponsorship announcement to come. 

Romain Bardet, meanwhile, must have been wondering 'what could have been' if things had just been a little different. He and his AG2R team animated the race at several points, most notably on Stage 9 into Chambery. However, a weak time trial performance in Marseille saw him nearly passed by Froome on the line - and almost cost him a podium spot.

Bardet clinches Tour third by a single second
Barring any misfortune, Romain Bardet will finish third on the podium tomorrow in Paris, a year after he completed the race in second place overall.

“I can be proud of making the podium of the world's biggest race for the second time," said Bardet. "I'm happy to have his experience at the age of 26. It gives me a lot of confidence for the future. I'll continue working and I won't prevent myself from dreaming big.

"In the mountains, I was part of the fight and I enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I had a bad day yesterday.”