Gaviria concludes La Provence with victory in Marseille
The Colombian racked-up Etixx – Quick-Step's 13th win of the season, at the end of a race which saw Petr Vakoč come second in the overall standings.
One day after gifting the victory to teammate Davide Martinelli, Fernando Gaviria came first to the line and scored his second success of the season, following the one he got in January, at the Tour de San Luis. As was the case in Argentina, also here the 21-year-old won by a comfortable margin, this time against Danilo Wyss (BMC) and Romain Feillu (BTP-Auber 93). The win he nabbed in Marseille will more than sure boost Fernando's confidence ahead of the Track World Championships, which he's going to ride next week.
"It was a nice way to end a really hard stage. With 25 kilometers to go, a couple of riders, including Petr, attacked in order to shake up the GC. At that moment I was sitting at the back of the peloton, waiting to see how things will unfold. Unfortunately for Petr, he was caught, which meant I came to the front, and helped by the guys, who rode hard and protected me, managed to take the win. This victory bodes well for the Track Worlds, in London. When I left Colombia, I didn't know where I was with my condition, but in this race I got a satisfying answer. I'm eager to take it to the track and see what happens there. After the Worlds, I will return to the road and continue working hard, to help the team get other good results", said a thrilled Fernando Gaviria at the end of Thursday's stage.
The inaugural edition of the race proved to be a good one also for Petr Vakoč, who finished second in the general classification, just seven seconds behind Thomas Voeckler, and took home the best young riders jersey, repeating the feat of last week's Tour du Haut Var. Besides the Czech champion, also Pieter Serry concluded in the upper part of the rankings, coming home fourth and netting his best result of the season. To top it off, Gaviria won the points jersey and Etixx – Quick-Step was victorious in the teams standings, making La Provence a big success.
At the finish in Marseille, sport director Brian Holm looked back on the three-day race: "We conclude the week with two stage wins out of three, two distinctive jerseys and Petr Vakoč as runner-up. Petr missed out on the GC win for a handful of seconds, but he lost to a great Voeckler. The difference between winning and losing is very small, we could see that, but I'm sure he'll take a victory soon, as he is very consistent. What's very important is that the entire team performed here and was really strong."
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele