San Juan: UAE Team Emirates’ new signing, Fernando Gaviria, opened his season in the best way possible by winning the first stage of the 2019 Vuelta A San Juan in Argentina.
At the end of a high-paced 159.1km stage from San Juan to Pocito, Gaviria outsprinted a world-class field of riders, crossing the line ahead of Matteo Malucelli (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) in just over three hours and fifty minutes.
His sprint finish was the culmination of a well-orchestrated team effort, which saw the UAE Team Emirates train work tirelessly in the final two kilometres to get the Colombian to the front of the peloton.
In the final 500m, he was delivered into a prime position by Simone Consonni, allowing him to launch the perfect sprint finish and get his 35th professional win.
Commenting on his first race in UAE Team Emirates colours, Gaviria said: “I’m super happy when I win. Above all because I have changed teams and I was looking for a confirmation. UAE Team Emirates is improving year after year and becoming the strongest in the world and I’m happy to be a part of this project. I want to thank my team because they worked so well. Even if we are young, we have so much talent. We prepared very well in the winter and in the last days here in San Juan before the race. In the sprint, I was very relaxed because knew that I could win.”