Following on from his crash at the Vuelta a San Juan last month, Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) will return to action in his homeland at the Colombia Oro y Paz,
Gaviria made a winning start to his 2018 season last month at San Juan but a crash took him out of the Argentinean week-long event, and the 23-year-old missed out on several race days to the forced break.
The inaugural edition of Colombia Oro y Paz can be split into two parts: the first part focused on the sprinters, who’ll battle out in Palmira (twice) and Buga for victories and the points classification, and the second part comprising three uphill finishes, favouring the climbers, who’ll be fighting for the overall honours at the race taking place from 6 to 11 February.
“I am very happy to be for the first time since turning pro at the start of a stage race organised in my country,” said Gaviria. “I’d love to take a win in front of my supporters and family, but the most important thing is to see how I feel after the San Juan injury. Things are better now, I had good feelings during this week’s training rides, but I’ll get a more conclusive answer after the National Championships, on Sunday.”
Julian Alaphilippe – the first Frenchman in the last 20 years to podium in two Monuments in the same season (Milano-Sanremo and Il Lombardia) – is set to start his season in Colombia, where the 25-year-old climber will be joined by Alvaro Hodeg, Iljo Keisse, Jhonatan Narvaez (the National Champion of Ecuador) and Maximiliano Richeze on the Quick-Step Floors team.