With only two days remaining, Maximiliano Richeze (Quick-Step Floors) became the first Argentinian to win a stage at Vuelta de San Juan (UCI 2.1) since Laureano Rosas won five stages en route to his third straight overall victory last year.
Richeze was one of three breakaway riders left to contest the sprint. The 33-year-old outsprinted Italian Oliviero Troia (UAE Abu Dhabi) and fellow Argentinian Nicolas Tivani (Unieuro Trevigiani-Hemus 1896) at the finish 52 seconds ahead of the field in the penultimate stage shortened 17km due to extreme heat (41C / 1o5F).
Saturday’s victory marked Richeze’s first win since he won stage 4 of the Tour de Suisse (2.UWT) and the points jersey last June.
“The team tactic was to control the first kilometers and jump in if there was a big breakaway to preserve my teammates,” said Richeze. “I did and everything went the right way. I want to thank my team as they gave me the chance to conquer a legendary stage for all the Argentinians. It’s a really hard place to ride here, due to the heat, which is sometimes intolerable.”
Trek-Segafredo’s Bauke Mollema (NED) remains atop general classification after slipping into the leaders jersey on the queen stage won by Rui Costa (UAE Abu Dhabi) on Friday. The 30-year-old Dutchman is essentially a lock to win overall with a 14-second lead heading into the 138.2km relatively flat final stage in San Juan on Sunday.
“I want to thank the organization and the officials in cutting off the parcours,” said Mollema. “I think it was the right decision due to the heat. Tomorrow will still be warm and windy, but we will try to secure the win.”
- 1. Maximiliano RICHEZE, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, in 3:48:47
- 2. Oliviero TROIA, UAE ABU DHABI, at +0:00
- 3. Nicolas TIVANI, UNIEURO TREVIGIANI-HEMUS 1896, (CZE), at +0:00
- 4. Matteo MALUCELLI, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI-SIDERMEC, at +0:52
- 5. Manuel BELLETTI, WILER TRIESTINA, at +0:52
- 6. Luis RIVERA, EQUIPO CONTINENTAL MUNICIPALIDAD DE POCITO, at +0:52
- 7. Mattia VIEL, UNIEURO TREVIGIANI-HEMUS 1896, at +0:52
- 8. Ramunas NAVARDAUSKAS, BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, at +0:52
- 9. Nicolas MARINI, NIPPO-VINI FANTINI, at +0:52
- 10. Luke KEOUGH, UNITEDHEALTHCARE, at +0:52
- 1. Bauke MOLLEMA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, in 18:02:09
- 2. OSCAR MIGUEL SEVILLA RIVERA, MEDELLIN – INDER, at +0:14
- 3. Torres agudelo RODOLFO, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI, at +0:16
- 4. Ricardo ESCUELA, ASOCIATION CIVIL AGRUPACION VIRGEN DE FATIMA, at +0:20
- 5. Rui Alberto FARIA DA COSTA, UAE ABU DHABI, at +0:26
- 6. Laureano ROSAS, ARG, at +0:27
- 7. Ramunas NAVARDAUSKAS, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at +0:52
- 8. Vincenzo NIBALI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at +1:17
- 9. Egan Arley BERNAL GOMEZ, ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI, at +1:29
- 10. Pieter SERRY, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at +1:31