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Gaviria launched an unstoppable 200-meter sprint to confidently beat Peter Sagan (Bora Hansgrohe) and Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck-Quick-Step). Behind them, 20-year-old Evenepoel safely rolled over the line to seal the second stage race win of his career, having taking the second-tier Belgium Baloise Tour in June last year.
“I am proud to win this race and be the youngest rider to sew up the general classification at the Vuelta a San Juan,” Evenepoel said after the race.
Filippo Ganna (Italy) and Oscar Sevilla (Medellin) took second and third overall respectively. American Brandon McNulty (UAE-Team Emirates) finished fourth on GC in his rookie WorldTour season.
The final leg of the Argentinian Tour was a criterium around San Juan city center that would inevitably finish in a sprint. The peloton all came into the final as one after UAE-Team Emirates and Deceuninck-Quick-Step controlled the pace into the final.
Quick-Step’s lead out hit the front first, with Hodeg sitting comfortably in the wheels, and Gaviria behind him. Gaviria launched his move with 200 meters to go, and Sagan reacted first in the attempt to follow. Gaviria’s sprint was unmatchable however, and he pulled away from the former world champion to win by several bike lengths.
“I had really good legs for the sprint so it was the perfect way to finish the week,” said Gaviria.
The Colombian had a below-par season last year and so his early-season hat-trick will inspire confidence. “To start the season like this is great for the team motivation and we hope to continue this way,” he said.
The result is also a strong start for young star Evenepoel. After a breakout rookie season, the Belgian is upping the ante in 2020, with a long list of targets including the spring classics, Giro d’Italia, Olympics and world championships.
“I always try to be in good shape and give my absolute best, I am always motivated and ready for a new challenge – This is who I am, ” he said. “I am fortunate to have an extraordinary team around me and I want to stay with my feet on the ground and be the same Remco you know.”
Evenepoel is next expected to be racing at the Volta ao Algarve later this month.