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"We have a neo-pro in Lukasz Wisniowski here, and we have Fabio Sabatini in his first race with us. Considering this and that we had six guys I think we did more than a perfect job going into the sprint. But Gaviria got the first jump...

Photo: © Etixx - Quick-Step / Tim de Waele






20.01.2015 @ 01:42 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Etixx - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Mark Cavendish, in the first road race of the season for the team, finished 2nd to Fernando Gaviria (Team Colombia)in a tense 186.8km Tour de San Luis Stage 1 on Monday. Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) was 3rd in the stage from San Luis to Villa Mercedes.

Etixx - Quick-Step had to control the front of the peloton for much of the race, which had an original escape group of three riders that was neutralized inside 15km to go. While the team had all six riders on the front in support of Cavendish, riders from opposing teams went on the attack all the way until the final few kilometers in hopes of preventing the bunch sprint Etixx - Quick-Step was working hard for. At one point the pace was so high in a lined out peloton that gaps were temporarily created.

As the peloton went into the flamme rouge UCI World Road Champion Michal Kwiatkowski and Fabio Sabatini remained in the leadout for the Manx Missile. But Gaviria was able to get the victory to open the race in Argentina.

Etixx - Quick-Step looks next to a 185.3km stage from La Punta to Mirador del Portero. The stage includes an uphill finish of 4.8km at 6.7% average gradient. The summit finale of Stage 2 is considered one of the less steep and challenging of all the summit finishes in the stage race.

"My teammates did a perfect job to keep me in front," Cavendish said. "We were in front for the last 50 kilometers. They did an incredible job, and that's why I am disappointed that I was unable to pay them back for their work.


"We have a neo-pro in Lukasz Wisniowski here, and we have Fabio Sabatini in his first race with us. Considering this and that we had six guys I think we did more than a perfect job going into the sprint. But Gaviria got the first jump and he deserved the win today.


"I saw 300 meters to to go, it was a real small sign. I waited for 200, I didn't see 200 and then he jumped. He went super fast. I saw the line, I didn't see 200 yet, but at that point I knew I just had to go. It was too late to catch up with him. But we did all we could going into this race and I know we will keep working hard, as we did today, in the next stages to try and get a good result."



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