“I found myself on the wheel of a rider from Bahrain-Merida and I had the patience and coolness to wait until the last minute to go,” said Gaviria on his team’s website. “The power in the legs was there to come around for the win.”
The victory is the first time Gaviria has won since stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia in May, where he was awarded victory after Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) crossed the line first but was later relegated.
The Chinese six-day race marks the close of the WorldTour calendar.
The race features two sprinter stages on the southern coast of the country before moving north for a circuit race in Nanning for stage 3. Stage 4 will see the GC shake up with an uphill finish, before stage 5 sees more climbing on a long 212km stage heading further inland to Guilin. The race closes out with a loop around Guilin and will likely see the last WorldTour race of the year finish with a sprint.
After a long season, the start sheet is thin of the biggest names. Other riders contesting the sprints will be Nikias Arndt (Sunweb) and John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo), while Enric Mas (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) and David de la Cruz (Ineos) are riders to watch out for on GC days. Defending champion Gianni Moscon is not racing.