Fernando Gaviria said before the start of the season that he was ready for a fresh started and aimed at capturing 10 wins in his first year at Movistar. Today at the Vuelta a San Juan he's taken his first of the season.
"This is what I was looking for. We are not as fast a team as other sprinters' teams, but we knew this stage was in our favour," Gaviria said in a post-race interview. "The whole group rode for me and I think we deserved to win.”
With the race splitting up in the climbs of the first half of the stage, a peloton of around 50 riders made it through in front. In there, all the Movistar Team riders were present including Gaviria, who benefited from the difficulties of Sam Bennett, Fabio Jakobsen and Giacomo Nizzolo - to name a few.
“The long climb was very tough. The heat has become more intense the last few days and everyone was having a hard time with that," he described. "Fortunately, we were able to stay together and finish it. I worked very hard last winter, this is what I was looking for.”
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The Colombian was one of the few sprinters who made it through and had the legs to battle for the win. He was forced to close in on a late attack from Filippo Ganna, but shown tremendous power as he outsprinted Peter Sagan to the line of stage 4. This was his first win with the Spanish team and will come as a big boost of confidence following complicated and unhappy years with UAE Team Emirates.
Alongside the win, Gaviria also took up the leader's jersey, although he isn't too confident on his chances of keeping it: “I'm sure I'll lose half an hour on the Alto del Colorado on Friday, haha. I'm especially looking forward to the last two rides. There are still opportunities for me in that.”