Gaviria’s Tour aspirations begin in Argentina

Quick-Step's star sprinter Fernando Gaviria will begin his 2018 season at Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina.

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Star sprinter Fernando Gaviria will begin his 2018 season at Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina, his Quick-Step team confirmed Saturday.

Gaviria won four Giro d’Italia stages in 2017 and is expected to debut at the Tour de France in July. He’s also hoping to be a factor in the spring classics, specifically Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

“We’ll try to go to Europe in the best possible shape for the classics. I’m speaking of the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. After which, we’ll start thinking of the Tour,” the Colombian told VeloNews in October. Gaviria has yet to start either cobbled classic race in his nascent career.

For the eight-stage Argentinian race, January 21-28, Gaviria will be joined by lead-out man Maximiliano Richeze, Iljo Keisse, Rémi Cavagna, along with neo-pros Alvaro Hodeg and Jhonatan Narvaez.

“Vuelta a San Juan is a good race to start the season. We took five stage wins at the previous edition, so it’s only normal to line up at the start motivated to start the year with a good result,” said sport director Davide Bramati. Gaviria won two of those stages in 2017.

“Concerning our team, you can see it’s a mix of young and experienced riders, who will have their chances to shine, especially in the bunch sprints, so we are looking forward to this race,” Bramati added.

Dutchman Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) won Vuelta a San Juan overall in 2017. While sprinters like Gaviria should have four opportunities, a short individual time trial and an uphill finish on the 20.7km Alto del Colorado will decide the GC.

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