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“I’ll be racing against a friend. I'll be happy if I win or if he wins. Let the strongest man win,” Gaviria said. “But there’s also Viviani, a Frenchman, a Norwegian… Everyone wants to win, this is a...

Photo: Etixx-QuickStep / Tim De Waele






01.03.2016 @ 19:05 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Fernando Gaviria arouses a lot of excitement as one of the most talented sprinters of his generation, but this season track racing still has the highest priority for the young Colombian. The 21-year old rider will be defending his men's omnium World Championship title this week in London, having to cope with a stiff competition and an increased interest surrounding his name.


Gaviria agrees that there's a lot of pressure on him at the moment and slightly turns down all expectations, emphasizing that he will have to race against in-form rivals, including Mark Cavendish, Elia Viviani, Lasse Norman Hansen and Glenn O'Shea.


"Being world champion does not change anything,” Gaviria said, according to Cyclingnews. “We must be on our guard and do things in the best way. Everybody is putting more pressure on me, but I’m not the only who is on form. All 24 of us participating will be on form, everyone will want to win or get a medal, but only three will be able to stand on the podium.”


Even though a crash at the Tour de San Luis slightly derailed his preparations towards the Track Championships, the 21-year old Etixx – Quick-Step rider claims to be pleased with his current disposition.


"I’m arriving in good shape,” Gaviria said of his approach to the Worlds. “The year began in the best way in San Luis, then I did a race in France, and the legs has developing well. I’ve done some testing on the track and I felt good. I hope to have a good feeling, to give a good show and try to come away with a win.”


Gaviria let the world of cycling know about himself by beating Mark Cavendish twice during last year's Tour de San Luis edition. The talented Colombian has been offered a professional contract with Etixx before the event came to an end, what turned his rival into a mentor and even a friend. The 21-year old sprinter has been using every possible occasion to underline how privileged he felt to race alongside the Manxman, but now claims to be happy to compete against him again in London.


“I’ll be racing against a friend. I'll be happy if I win or if he wins. Let the strongest man win,” Gaviria said. “But there’s also Viviani, a Frenchman, a Norwegian… Everyone wants to win, this is a World Championship."


The Track World Championships in London are only a dress rehearsal for the Olympic Games this season, but Gaviria refuses to get too excited about such a distant goal.


"We don’t know if we’re going yet. There’s too long to go still, you could have injuries or illness in the meantime,” he said. “It’s not good to get too excited by something that’s so far off.”



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