Gaviria comes second in La Punta
On a day in which the break stayed at the front until the end, the Colombian won once again the group sprint.
Elias Tello (Chile), Gonzalo Najar (San Juan), Emmanuel Guevara (San Luis Somos Todos) and Peter Koning (Drapac) attacked after the first kilometers of stage 3 in Tour de San Luis (Potrero de Los Funes – La Punta, 131 km), one that had three ascents on the menu, with Mirador del Potrero the last one of them. Potrero was used before in the race, but now the peloton went on it from the easy side (5 kilometers, 5.5% average gradient), with just 11 kilometers remaining from the top of it until the arrival.
Long before the climb, Koning attacked the other three and went solo, crossing first the second-category ascent, with enough seconds in hand to get victorious at the finish line in La Punta, where he also became the new leader of the general classification. Behind him, Fernando Gaviria led the chase and despite this effort, he still managed to sprint to second, ahead of Travis McCabe (Holowesko-Citadel) and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff). In the overall standings, the 21-year-old Colombian, winner in Villa Mercedes on Tuesday, is now just six seconds adrift, while he continues to lead the U23 ranking. In the same group with Gaviria arrived at the finish also Maximiliano Richeze and Rodrigo Contreras, the Colombian being now well placed ahead of tomorrow’s stage.
Gaviria’s podium came as new proof of Etixx – Quick-Step’s consistency in the South American event, a thing which made sport director Davide Bramati happy at the finish: “We did a good race today, and together with the other teams we controlled the stage, our goal being to see how Fernando and Rodrigo will cope with the last climb. Koning was really strong and was able to keep a gap, despite the peloton climbing Potrero at high speed. We are satisfied with our results and that our work netted us a second place of Fernando at the finish. Now, we’re ready to find out tomorrow how far can Rodrigo go in this race”.
Stage 4 of the Tour de San Luis (Terrazas del Portezuelo – Cerro El Amago, 140 km) is expected to shake up the general classification, as it will finish on a tough climb (10.5 km, 7.2 average gradient).
Photo: ©Tim De Waele