• Sep Vanmarcke looks after EF Education First-Drapac team leader Rigoberto Uran on stage 4 of the 2018 Tour de France (Getty)Source: Getty
Quick thinking and rusted on loyalty ensured Rigoberto Uran lost no time in the crash that marred the stage 4 finale, but not the morale of Team Argyle.
Cycling Central

11 Jul 2018 - 10:05 AM  UPDATED 11 Jul 2018 - 11:40 PM

While the Colombian didn't hit the pavement, he and teammate Taylor Phinney had nowhere to go as riders piled up in front of them in the crash six kilometres from the finish. 

With his bike mangled in the mass and the peloton split, Uran's team reacted immediately.

"Before Rigo was even back up on his feet Dani Martinez had already given him his bike," Australian teammate told SBS. "And myself and Sep Vanmarcke and Tom Scully getting him back on (to the bunch). 

"To catch the bunch when they're going at warp speed is never an easy task but hats off to our team. The team's just next level how well we're working together."

Uran remains 35 seconds down on the yellow jersey. More importantly he still sits 20 seconds ahead of the man who defeated him last year, Chris Froome. 

While he appears to be flying under the radar and the underdog tag is one EF Education First-Drapac wears with pride, the team's actions over the last few days demonstrate a rusted on belief he's capable of much more. 

Take Lawson Craddock for example who continues to ride with a broken scapula after his nasty crash on stage 1. 

"Lawson Craddock what do you say," said Clarke. "There isn't really words he's an absolute animal. 

"His commitment is an example we've all got to Rigo and he proved last year he's got the talent to win the Tour de France."

Interview with Simon Clarke

A team built for a time trial and the Classics

It was this belief that also carried Team Argyle through a team time trial it wasn't expected to finish just 35 seconds behind stage winners BMC. But work on the discipline began long before the Tour. 

“This TTT has been a target for this team since the Tour de France route was announced at the end of last year,”
said Clarke on the team's website.

“(Director) Andreas Klier, in particular, has basically organised his life for the last eight months around providing us with the best time trial equipment possible.

“I can’t thank the EF Pro Cycling organization enough for the efforts that went into behind the scenes to make today’s result happen. I would nearly go as far as saying that they provided us with the result. The bike they gave us, we flew on it. It was a really special feeling.”

Clarke also told SBS, "we're just out there fighting 100 per cent to give (Uran) an opportunity in the mountains to go after that goal."

With diesels like Clarke, Phinney, Scully, and Vanmarcke, EF Education-First Drapac is a team built for just that - guiding their man through a hard first week in Brittany and the cobbles of stage nine, and whatever else may come.