Fernando Gaviria (Colombia) claimed the opening stage of this year’s Tour de San Luis, in a sprint finish in Villa Mercedes, Argentina today.
Indeed, the 20-year old Colombian rider followed in the slipstream of Etixx-Quick-Step, before executing his perfectly timed acceleration to the finish.
Earlier in the race, action came from an escape group of three riders containing Leandro Messineo (San Luis Somos Todos), David Williams (Jamis-Hagens Berman), and Ignacio Pérez (Team San Juan).
At one point, the escapees had established a gap of 4 minutes over the peloton. However, as they reached the half-way point in the stage, their gap fell to 3 minutes.
With 55 kilometers remaining, Etixx-Quick-Step came to the front of the peloton, quickly reducing the gap to a manageable 2 minutes. And, as the race entered the final 15 kilometers, the breakaway trio had been completely reeled in.
From there, Cannondale-Garmin’s Ted King and Adrian Alvarado (Chile), initiated an attack of their own, albeit with short lived results.
There were a few subsequent attacks thereafter, but none were able to stick either.
As the race entered into the final descent before the finish, a group of 15 riders succeeded in splitting from the peloton. But, just like previous attempts, they too were reeled back in.
It was Michal Kwiatkowski who lead out Etixx-Quick-Step during the closing kilometer. But, his efforts to set-up teammate, Mark Cavendish, in the waning monuments of the race fell short, as Gaviria was able to come around the “Manx Missile” just before the line – to seize the victory.
Top 10 Finishers
1 Fernando Gavira (Col) Colombia National Team
2 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Etixx – Quick-Step
3 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida
4 Nicolas Marini (Ita) Nippo – Vini Fantini
5 Sebastian Jose Tolosa (Arg) Buenos Aires
6 Oscar Gatto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
7 Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar
8 Marco Canola (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
9 Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Italy
10 Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
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