In an exciting finish at pure speed, Fernando Gaviria (Movistar) was victorious in the fourth stage of the Tour of San Juan 2023, on a 196.5-kilometre route between the Villicum Autodrome and the town of Barreal. The Colombian is the new leader of the general classification, three days from the end.
The Antioquia sprinter took advantage of the impeccable work of his teammates to win ahead of Slovakian Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies) and Italian Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers), who tried to surprise with a long attack.
Much of Gaviria’s success was thanks to the work of his teammates, especially Brazilian champion Vinicius Rangel, who controlled the pack in the last quarter of the race alongside his teammates. The Colombian was the fastest in a small sprint that did not include all the sprinters.
After the start at the Villicum circuit, where Quinn Simmons defeated the sprinters the day before, the breakaway of the day was formed with local cyclist Tomas Contte, winner of the fraction’s mountain prizes. Four more Argentine cyclists slipped behind his wheel, in addition to the Colombian Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) who measured his legs. In total there were twelve brave ones who tested at the beginning, quickly reaching an advantage that was around seven minutes, however, the lot neutralized them halfway through the race.
After the descent, in which the brakes were barely touched, the riders quickly reached the San Juan River, then the last kilometers passed with a group of about fifty riders at the head of the race, who would end up defining the fraction.
Statement from the new leader
The Antioquia sprinter Fernando Gaviria prevailed with authority in the group sprint in the fourth stage of the Tour of San Juan 2023. and seized the lead of the race, which was in the hands of the Irishman Sam Bennett.
“A huge happiness. He was looking for her. I prepared very well all winter and today it happened. The team really behaved up to the mark, as they have been doing all week. We knew that this block was not as purely for wheelers as the one that other sprinters have, but that today’s profile favored our characteristics”,said Gaviria in statements collected by his team.
Only four days of competition had to wait since its competitive debut with the ‘M’ on his chest to enjoy the triumphs of, perhaps, the best sprinter that has passed through the Abarca Sports teams in almost half a century of history.
“The boys today were the best. The whole team worked for me. We sought it, we deserved it and we got it. The mountain pass became very difficult; The heat has intensified in recent days and it was difficult for all of us, but we knew how to be patient, we were able to cross the pass together, we remained calm and we worked to the finish line to achieve this beautiful victory”, added the Movistar rider.
The Colombian, who achieved 50 victories as a professional, will wear the leader’s shirt in Alto Colorado. “I am in the lead, but it is anecdotal; surely on Friday in the Colorado I will be last for almost the whole day and I will arrive losing half an hour. It will be a day to go as calmly as possible and think about fighting for the two remaining stages of the weekend”, concluded Gaviria.
Tomorrow the San Juan round will have a rest day and will continue on Friday with the fifth partial of 173.7 kilometers, on broken terrain between Chimbas and Alto Colorado. The successor to the Belgian Remco Evenepoel, champion of the last edition in 2020, will be known on Sunday, January 29 in San Juan (Argentina).
Source: Cycling World Magazine