Race Report
POCITO, ARGENTINA - JANUARY 27: Arrival / Fernando...

Gaviria takes stage 2 sprint at Vueta a San Juan

Gaviria takes stage win and overall lead with unmatchable sprint.

Fernando Gaviria (UAE-Team Emirates) launched an impressive sprint to take stage 2 of Vuelta a San Juan, Monday. The Colombian beat Nicolas Naranjo (Agrupacion Virgen De Fatima) and Marco Benfatto (Bardiani-CSF Faizane) with a long sprint into Pocito and took the leader’s jersey in the process.

“This win is great motivation for the team for the whole week,” said Gaviria. “I will enjoy wearing the leader’s jersey tomorrow.”

After the breakaway was caught on the largely flat stage, a crash 15km from the finish took a number of riders out of the front group, including Gaviria’s leadout man Max Richeze, who transferred to UAE-Team Emirates from Deceuninck Quick-Step at the start of the season.

The majority of the main sprinters came through the incident unscathed, and entered the long, wide finishing straight in Pocito as one.

Deceuninck-Quick-Step’s train led out the sprint, working for Alvaro Hodeg, with Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Gaviria coming up late, around 15 wheels back. With 150 meters to go, Gaviria came off Sagan’s wheel and powered past the former world champion and the leadout trains ahead of him to take an impressive victory, and his first of the season. Sagan came across the line in fifth place.

“It feels really good because it’s the first race of the season and my first race back with Max,” said Gaviria. “Max was caught up in a crash near the end so couldn’t help but [Brandon] McNulty and [Tom] Bohli did great work.”

Stage 3, Tuesday, is a 15.1km time trial that could see a shake-up of the GC standings.

Stage 3 results: 

  1. Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates:3:30:06
  2. Nicolas Naranjo (Agrupacion Virgen De Fatima): S.T.
  3. Marco Benfatto (Bardiani-CSF Faizane): S.T

GC after stage 3

  1. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates): 7:15:10
  2. Rudy Barbier (Israel Start-up Nation): S.T.
  3. Manuel Belletti (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec): +0:00:04