Chaos on opening stage as half of peloton takes wrong turn in final kilometre

Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) started this season as he finished the last, taking victory in the first stage of the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina.

The 22-year-old sprinter benefited from a superb lead-out by Belgian team-mates Pieter Serry and Tom Boonen, with Serry pulling a group of seven riders off the front of the peloton within the final 500m, before Boonen dropped Gaviria off with 150m to go in a perfect position.

Elia Viviani, riding for the Italian national team rather than Team Sky, was unable to come around the Colombian, with Nicolas Marini (Nippo-Vini Fantini) finishing third.

However, Gaviria’s win was overshadowed by chaos in the pack behind, as half of the peloton took a wrong turn within the final kilometre, forcing many to run across grass and clamber over race barriers to finish the stage.

The race jury later ruled that all riders would be given the same time as Gaviria.

This is the highest profile race in South America, so it was no surprise to see the main break of the way filled with local riders.

The six man break consisted of Ruben Ramos (Agentina), Gaston Javier (Sep-San Juan), Omar Azzem (Los Cascos Esco-Agropla), Leonardo Rodriguez (Asociacion Civil Mardan), Eugenio Alafaci (Trek-Segafredo), and Franco Lopez (Agrupacion Virgen de Fatima), but they were only manage to establish a maximum advantage of one-and-a-half minutes during the 142.5km stage.

While the break was caught well before the end of the stage, it was at least a profitable day for López, who took both of the stage’s intermediate sprints and both of the KOM points.

Results

Vuelta a San Juan 2017, stage one: San Juan – San Juan, (142.5km)

1. Fernando Gaviria (COL) Quick-Step Floors, in 3-07-44
2. Elia Viviani (ITA) Italy
3. Nicolas Marini (ITA) Nippo-Vini Fantini
4. Matteo Malucelli (ITA) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
5. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) Bahrain-Merida
6. Tom Boonen (BEL) Quick-Step Floors
7. Matthias Brändle (AUT) Trek-Segafredo
8. Alan Ramirez (ARG) Municipalidad de Rawson Somos Todos
9. Bauke Mollema (NED) Trek-Segafredo
10. Oscar Sevilla (ESP) Medellin-Inder, all same time

General classification after stage one

1. Fernando Gaviria (COL) Quick-Step Floors, in 3-07-44
2. Elia Viviani (ITA) Italy, at 4 secs
3. Franco Lopez (ARG) Agrupacion Virgen de Fatima, at 4 secs
4. Nicolas Marini (ITA) Nippo-Vini Fantini, at 6 secs
5. Iginio Lucero (ARG) Municipalidad de Rawson Somos Todos, at 8 secs
6. Leonardo Rodriguez (ARG) Asociacion Civil Marden, at 8 secs
7. Ruben Ramos (ARG) Argentina, 9 secs
8. Pedro Gonzalez (ARG), Equipo Continental Municipalidad de Pocito, at 9 secs
9. Matteo Malcelli (ITA), Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, at 10 secs
10. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) Bahrain-Merida, at 10 secs