Rigoberto Urán extends with EF Education-EasyPost
‘My life is on the bike’
Rigoberto Urán is here to stay.
EF Education-EasyPost is thrilled to announce that the Colombian veteran has decided to postpone retirement and continue racing with the team.
For Rigo, the decision was simple.
“I decided to keep racing because I like it. I have a lot of passion for what I do. My life is on the bike,” Rigo said.
He had, in fact, considered calling time on his storied career at the end of this season. Rigo wrapped up the year with a suite of top ten results at the Italian fall classics, an undeniable exclamation mark on any rider’s palmarès. But when he examined his life and spoke with his family, he concluded there was no reason to retire just yet.
"I get to combine my life in Colombia with sports here in Europe and I have my family’s support, so I decided to continue racing for a few more years."
“The most important thing is family support,” Rigo said. “My family likes being here in Europe. They spend a lot of time away from Colombia so if they like it here, that’s important. Me, I love it here, I love riding, so I want to keep going for a few more years. I get to combine my life in Colombia with sports here in Europe and I have my family’s support, so I decided to continue racing for a few more years.”
Despite leaving his native Colombia for Europe as a teenager, Rigo has always been exceptionally close with his family. Over the decades that followed, his concept of family has expanded.
“I’ve been racing for many years. You don’t always find a team like this. EF Education-EasyPost is like a family. I really get on well with the team. Everyone is very professional. It’s a team that gives you a lot of opportunities. It’s a team that allows you to try a lot of things. You have opportunities to show your talent in grand tours and in other races. You don’t find this with a lot of teams so I knew I wanted to continue with the team. It’s a team that I love.”
Over the seven seasons Rigo has already spent with the squad, team CEO Jonathan Vaughters has come to rely on Rigo not just for his race results.
"Rigo helped save this organization on more than one occasion. He’s a leader, by example. Not by force. He’ll be invaluable in guiding the younger riders on this team. To me, Rigo isn’t just a team member, he’s a true partner and member of our family," Vaughters said.
As he wraps up his 17th season racing in Europe, Rigo has been a professional racer for nearly as long as his youngest teammate, Georg Steinhauser, has been alive, a testament to the longevity of his career. The years have not diminished his competitive drive one bit, particularly when it comes to the grand tours, which are something special to Rigo. He has finished in the top ten of a grand tour every year since 2012 with the singular exception of 2015. At the Tour de France, he has won a stage and been second on general classification. He has collected a pair of stage wins at the Giro d’Italia and has twice finished second overall. This season he won a stage at the Vuelta a España, completing his hat trick of grand tour stage wins, and finished in the top ten overall at the Spanish grand tour. As he approaches his 36th birthday, Rigo recognizes that he has limited time left in the peloton and he knows exactly what his goals are.
“These are my last years to be on the podium. I want to keep giving my all for the podium. We’ll see what we can do for the grand tour podiums. That is what we keep working for. That’s why we keep racing for each other. For me what’s most important is sending riders and teams to races that we can win and supporting each other to get those wins. Victory for our team.”
With his lengthy results sheet and a wealth of experience to share, Rigo has assumed something of a mentorship role within the team.
“Now we have a lot of young riders so I try to support the young ones and share what I’ve learned over the years. I try to be a great friend to everyone because sometimes that’s what you need.”
The gregarious Colombian is a living example not only to his teammates and his legion of animated fans but to the world at large about the value of balancing a successful career with a satisfying life.
“I’m proud not just that I’ve ridden for so long but that cycling has taught me so much,” Rigo said. “More than anything, cycling has taught me that it’s important to enjoy what you do. That’s the best thing. Find work that you enjoy. I like to ride. I like to train. I like it all.”
And we like seeing you out on the road, Rigo. Thanks for sticking around a little longer.