As of tomorrow – 1 January – Giro d’Italia runner-up Rigoberto Uran officially becomes an Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider. But in recent days, he’s been back home in Urrao, Colombia, where he has welcomed aspiring young riders to his mother’s house and giving them kit including some donated by his former employer Team Sky’s clothing supplier, Rapha.
Uran may not have been the most celebrated rider in the Team Sky line-up in 2012, but in his home country, he’s a superstar.
And along with the like of Sergio Henao, Carlos Betancur and Nairo Quintana - second to Chris Froome in the 2012 Tour de France - he is one of the trailblazers of a new generation of Colombian cyclists with ambitions to join 1987 Vuelta winner Luis Herrera as a Grand Tour champion from the South American Country.
He’s also one of only four Colombians who won a gold or silver medal at the London Olympics last year – had Kazakhstan’s Alexandre Vinokourov not mugged him on The Mall, it could have been gold.
El Tiempo says that besides Rapha, three other companies teamed up with Uran to donate clothing, and five bikes, to girls and boys aged from 12-18 who belong to the local cycling school – Suárez Sportswear, Punto Blanco and Gef.
The newspaer says that Uran hopes that next year, he can bring more companies on board to help young riders get their start in the sport that is currently seeing a resurgence of Colombian riders.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.