On a day that seemed to favor Movistar and its climbing ace Nairo Quintana, Daniel Díaz (Funvic) scored a win for the host country, Argentina, in stage 2 of Tour de San Luis.
The Tuesday stage from La Punta to Mirador de Potrero finished with a 4.8km climb that averaged 6.7 percent. Díaz wasted no time, attacking early on the Mirador after a select group of climbers split off the front of the peloton. He brought along Rodolfo Torres (Colombia), but in the end it was all Díaz, who attacked the final kilometer and won the day handily with a gap of six seconds.
The winner, a 25-year-old Argentine, won the 2013 edition of the Tour de San Luis. Díaz is also Argentina’s national road champion.
Five protagonists escaped early in the 185.3km stage: Mauricio Muller (San Juan), Sebastián Tolosa (Buenos Aires), Lucas Haedo (Jamis-Hagens Berman), Carlos Quintero (Colombia), and Romain Guillemois (Europcar).
They gained an advantage that grew to nearly four minutes, but as the race approached the final 20 kilometers, the gap had fallen to 2:26, and Tolosa was dropped.
Movistar drove the pace on the wide-open valley road leading into the final climb, bringing the gap down to 1:30.
As they hit the first pitches on Mirador de Potrero, Movistar dealt the break one final blow and started the fireworks. A group of eight quickly peeled off the front of the peloton, including race favorite Quintana.
The pace ebbed, and the front group swelled midway through the 4.8km climb.
From that front group, two riders attacked, Díaz and Torres. As they rode the sweeping climb to the finish, their gap grew and they were out of sight.
The duo entered the final kilometer together with Díaz on the front. Then, Díaz made his move as the steady climb relented just before the finish. Powering out of the saddle, he rode alone to win stage 4 ahead of Torres. Kleber Da Silva (Brazil) was third, 24 seconds behind.
With his brilliant effort on the final climb, Diaz snatched the overall race lead from sprinter Fernando Gaviria (Colombia)