If you follow Colombian cycling, and perhaps this blog, you probably know about Rigoberto Uran's life story. His is an amazing tale of overcoming heartbreak and hardship, one that is remarkable even by Colombian standards. With his stage victory, Uran—despite his country's spectacular success in the sport—becomes the first Colombian rider to ever wear pink at the Giro, and only the fourth Colombian to ever lead a grand tour (the others being Herrera and Botero at the Vuelta and Victor Hugo Peña at the Tour). To say that this is an exciting and emotional time for Colombian cycling would be an understatement. Some of you, even if you're not Colombian, may very well feel the same way today.
Riders from the Rigoberto Uran Cycling Club in Urrao
If you do, I urge you to support Uran, but to also remember his struggle getting where he is today. And to remember that many kids in Colombia (including many in his native town of Urrao) are struggling today just as he did years ago. They are unable to buy a proper bike, much less cycling shoes, helmets or proper kit. Let's not simply support men like Uran when they win, but also when they most need our help, which is when they are much younger. Before people around the world known their name.
Riders from the Rigoberto Uran Cycling Clubin Urrao receiving donations
If you have any bike parts, shoes, frames, helmets or other parts that are in good working condition, donate them to Dreams To Wheels, and assist young riders in Colombia who need help just as Rigo* did years ago. Or if you know me personally, feel free to give me your donations directly, as I get ready to send another box to Urrao.
Let's enjoy the here and now, but let's never forget how far men like Rigoberto Uran have had to travel to make such a thing happen. .
*During the last stage of the Giro last year, I met Rigoberto's girlfriend and spent some time with her and Sergio Henao's significant other. In speaking with them, I quickly learned that Rigoberto's girlfriend does not like him to be called "Rigo". In fact, she corrected me a couple of times. I still can't help myself.