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Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) won the seventh and final stage of the 2018 Vuelta a San Juan on Sunday in the host city, as Gonzalo Najar (Sindicato Empleados Publicos of San Juan) captured the overall title. Najar sealed the overall win when he powered to victory on stage five, which finished atop the brutal Alto de Colorado.
Argentinian Max Richeze (Quick-Step Floors) and his teammate Alvaro Hodeg rounded out the podium for the stage.
The 36th edition of the Vuelta a San Juan concluded Sunday with a circuit race around the host city. The riders tackled a flat and fast 15.7-kilometer circuit nine times for a total of 141.3 kilometers.
After 40 kilometers of racing, seven riders pulled away and built an advantage of two minutes, but on the flat course, they stood little chance of surviving. The breakaway was caught with 45 kilometers still to go and counterattacks immediately ensued. However, with nine kilometers remaining the race was back together and the expected bunch sprint was set to take place.
Inside the last kilometer, it was a duel at the front of the peloton among many sprint trains. Nizzolo proved to have the strongest legs in the end and took the victory. Richeze finished second and Hodeg captured third.
“The plan today was to work for Alvaro, but the last three kilometers turned out to be very nervous and messy, and for that matter, we lost him at one point,” Richeze, who won stage four, said after the stage. “We then regrouped, but it was difficult for the leadout to work properly in those crazy conditions out there and with that very fast sprint.
“I am very happy with how things have panned out for me this week and with my stage win, it gives me great confidence for my next race, Colombia Oro y Paz, and for the rest of the season. I’m also delighted and speechless to see how many fans have come to cheer for me, to take a picture or just exchange a few words, before and after every stage. [It] was a real pleasure to have all these fantastic supporters and my family by my side.”
Top 10, stage 7
- 1. Giacomo Nizzolo, TREK – SEGAFREDO, in 02:55:23
- 2. Ariel Maximiliano Richeze, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at 0:00
- 3. Álvaro José Hodeg, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at 0:00
- 4. Pascal Ackermann, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 0:00
- 5. Niccolo Bonifazio, BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 0:00
- 6. Manuel Penalver, UNIEURO TREVIGIANI – HEMUS 1896, at 0:00
- 7. Federico Burchio, ITALY, at 0:00
- 8. Jens Keukeleire, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 0:00
- 9. Guillaume Boivin, ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY, at 0:00
- 10. Carlos Eduardo Alzate, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 0:00
Top 10, final GC
- 1. Gonzalo Najar, SINDICATO EMPLEADOS PúBLICOS OF SAN JUAN, in 21:59:06
- 2. Oscar Sevilla, MEDELLIN – INDER, at 0:51
- 3. Filippo Ganna, UAE-TEAM EMIRATES, at 1:11
- 4. Rodolfo Andres Torres, ANDRONI – SIDERMEC – BOTTECCHIA, at 1:41
- 5. Rafał Majka, BORA – HANSGROHE, at 1:58
- 6. Tiesj Benoot, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 1:59
- 7. Omar Mendoza, MEDELLIN – INDER, at 2:08
- 8. Dayer Quintana, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 2:58
- 9. Kanstantsin Siutsou, BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 3:19
- 10. Rémi Cavagna, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at 3:26