Dubai: Fernando Gaviria, who recovered from coronavirus, fetched a 14th major win of the 2020 season for UAE Team Emirates while winning Stage 2 of the Vuelta a Burgos in Spain late on Wednesday.
The Colombian sprinter, who turns 26 in August, had been quarantined for a month in March after testing positive for Covid-19. But hours after three of his teammates – Sebastian Molano, Cristian Munoz and Camilo Ardila – had been forced to pull out and return home after being in touch with a Covid-19, Gaviria showed up with a late pounce on Stage 2.
- Photos: Sumo resumes in front of fans despite rise in Japan coronavirus infections
- PHOTOS: Looks can kill: The top female UFC fighters in the world
- Photos: Cricket's Magnificent Seven who makes the 500-plus club of Test wicket takers
- MLB: Major League Baseball's Opening Day off to a flier
- UFC Fight Night finale in Abu Dhabi: Full results
- English Premier League football transfer gossip: Salah's Liverpool future in doubt
The win for the UAE team was even more memorable after it had lost three members for a coronavirus scare earlier in the day. The group stayed versatile along the stage, while Gaviria waited in a first big bunch sprint and win with ease.
On a personal note, this was the fourth win for the Colombian rider following his hat-trick at the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina, in January.
“The compactness of the team was exceptional. We had to do without three riders, therefore not being able to work to keep the escape at bay, but we counted in the final on our good legs and a little luck to finish off a good sprint,” Gaviria said.
“I thank my teammates, who looked after me the whole stage and delivered me for the win in the end,” he added.
Deceuninck-QuickStep, CCC and Groupama-FDJ had all tried to keep their riders at the front of the line as the peloton roared down the final, fast descent into Villadiego. But Gaviria proved he was a match for all of them, streaking past the French train without any difficulty and taking a victory by several bike lengths ahead of Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) and Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick Step).
Thursday’s third stage will be one for the climbers and will depart from Sargentes de Lora with a finish at Picón Blanco after 150 kms of arduous climbs in the Basque region of Spain.
Meanwhile, everyone at the Vuelta a Burgos heaved a sigh of relief late on Wednesday after it was announced that the three riders from UAE Team Emirates tested negative. Molano, Muñoz and Ardila had been already sent home by their team ahead of Stage 2, after learning that the trio had been in contact with a Covid-19 positive person last Saturday.
The trio had cleared the UCI’s pre-race protocol, testing negative both six and three days ahead of the race, but were taken out and tested again during stage 2 on Wednesday.
“The tests undertaken today by three UAE Team Emirates riders, as a preventative measure for having been in contacted with someone who tested positive, have come back negative,” read a brief statement from race organisers.