Fernando Gaviria opened his UAE Team Emirates chapter in the best way possible by winning the opening stage of the 2019 Vuelta a San Juan.
After 159.1 kilometres from San Juan to Pocito, he outsprinted Matteo Malucelli (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe). Gaviria took the first leader’s jersey of the race with Malucelli in second at 4″ and Bennett in third at 6″.
“I’m super happy when I win,” Gaviria explained. “Above all because I have changed teams and I was looking for a confirmation. The UAE Team Emirates is improving year after year and becoming the strongest in the world and I’m happy to be apart of this project.
“In my old team, I learned so much and now I’m bringing all of that knowledge with me in my new chapter. I want to thank my team because they worked so well even if we are young, we have so much talent. We prepared very well in the winter and in the last days here in San Juan before the race. In the sprint, I was very relaxed because knew that I could win.”
The second stage takes the riders from Chimbas to Peri Lago Punta Negra. The stage covers 160.2 kilometres, with five climbs of the Punta Negra (3rd category). The finish line is 2.5 kilometres after the top of the last climb and should make for a tough day for Gaviria and the other sprinters.
Stage 1 results
1 Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 3h50’12”
2 Matteo Malucelli (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) s.t.
3 Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) s.t.
General classification after stage 1
1 Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 3h50’02”
2 Matteo Malucelli (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) 4″
3 Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) 6″