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The inaugural Colombia Oro y Paz stage race kicked off in ideal fashion for the home crowd as Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) won stage 1 Tuesday. The Colombian out-sprinted Juan Sebastian Molano (Manzana Postobon). Gaviria’s lead-out man, Max Richeze was third.
“It’s special to be here, in my home country. The public was so warm and gave us an amazing welcome, not only today but ever since the team has arrived here,” said Gaviria. “Taking a victory here is completely different than taking one in Europe.”
The flat 99.9km stage around Palmira was perfectly suited for the 23-year-old. Gaviria and his Quick-Step team were undeterred by an early five-man breakaway. They also dodged the late-race crashes.
On the other hand, another Colombian star, Giro and Vuelta champion Nairo Quintana (Movistar), was tangled in a pile-up with four kilometers to go. His brother Dayer also went down. Nairo Quintana was able to chase back to the group, riding a bike borrowed from Dayer. He finished with the bunch and suffered only minor injuries.
Like Quintana, Gaviria also suffered an early season crash, except his was two weeks prior in stage 4 of Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina.
However, with a strong lead-out by his Quick-Step team, Gaviria showed everyone that he was fully recovered and back to his winning ways. Prior to the crash on January 24, Gaviria won stage 1 at San Juan.
He’ll have another chance to entertain the Colombian fans Wednesday as Oro y Paz stage 2 again starts and finishes in Palmira with a flat 183.4km route, apart from one categorized climb in the first half of the day. With his stage 1 win, Gaviria will be in the leader’s jersey.
“I really liked today’s circuit,” added Gaviria. “It was the perfect way to start this race, getting the rhythm in the legs and being surrounded by all these fantastic fans. I am also very glad to lead the race, and even though I know that I won’t keep the jersey until the end, I still want to enjoy and sport it with pride over the next days.”
Top 10, stage 1
- 1. Fernando Gaviria Rendon, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, in 02:07:05
- 2. Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides, MANZANA POSTOBON TEAM, s.t.
- 3. Maximiliano Ariel Richeze, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, s.t.
- 4. Matteo Malucelli, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI – SIDERMEC, s.t.
- 5. Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, s.t.
- 6. Andrea Guardini, BARDIANI CSF, s.t.
- 7. Pawel Franczak, CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE, s.t.
- 8. Davide Vigano, ITALY, s.t.
- 9. Manuel PeÑalver Aniorte, TREVIGIANI PHONIX – HEMUS 1896, s.t.
- 10. Miguel Bryon, HOLOWESKO | CITADEL P/B ARAPAHOE RESOURCES, s.t.
- 1. Fernando Gaviria Rendon, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, in 02:06:55
- 2. Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez, COLDEPORTES ZENU SELLO ROJO, in :01
- 3. Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides, MANZANA POSTOBON TEAM, in :04
- 4. Maximiliano Ariel Richeze, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, in :06
- 5. Rafael Anibal Montiel Cuello, EQUIPO CONTINENTAL ORGULLO PAISA, in :07
- 6. Simon Pellaud, TEAM ILLUMINATE, s.t.
- 7. Jetse Bol, MANZANA POSTOBON TEAM, in :08
- 8. Jonathan Clarke, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, in :09
- 9. Matteo Malucelli, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI – SIDERMEC, in :10
- 10. Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, s.t.