The Colombian wrote another page of history after producing an astonishing finish in Tortona, where he overhauled all his opponents.
Fernando Gaviria confirmed once again he is one of the fastest riders in the world, with a fantastic sprint which landed his fourth stage victory at the 100th Giro d’Italia. Friday’s win was completely different than the previous ones, as he had to come from a long way back, basically kicking off his blistering turn of speed with 350 meters remaining, and flying past all his rivals next to the barriers before notching Quick-Step Floors’ 63rd Grand Tour stage win.
A tricky left-hand bend with 450 meters remaining turned the bunch sprint into a messy affair, but despite not being in the best position, Gaviria unleashed an incredible acceleration on the final straight and hit a peak power of 1478W, which resulted into a 72.8 km/h top speed that catapulted the South American to another outstanding and exciting victory, ahead of Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo).
It was a success of the entire Quick-Step Floors team, from Pieter Serry, who spent dozens of kilometers at the front of the peloton keeping the escapees’ advantage around the two-minute mark, and Iljo Keisse, who took the reins in the crosswinds, to Davide Martinelli – the Grand Tour debutant who countered an attack of Lukas Postlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) inside the last 600 meters – and Max Richeze, one of the best lead-out men in the business, who opened the door for Fernando with 200 meters to go.
Not only he is now the Colombian rider with the most stage wins at the Giro d’Italia, but he also became the first rider in 38 years to notch up at least four stage successes on his Grand Tour debut. Despite these fantastic achievements, Gaviria insisted on keeping his feet on the ground.
“Having this record doesn’t mean much for me. What is important is that it underlines the fact that I came well-prepared to the Giro d’Italia. At the same time, I am happy to take so many victories and have the maglia ciclamino going into the penultimate week-end of the race, especially as many Colombians, from fans to important athletes, came here to watch me. That really means a lot”, said Fernando Gaviria at the press conference.
The 22-year-old, who increased his lead in the points classification, made an analysis of the chaotic sprint in Tortona, where the Corsa Rosa returned for the first time in 28 years: “The sprint was fast and tense, but sprints are always like that. To be honest, in those moments, with 400 meters left, I didn’t think I still had a chance of winning, but I decided to just give everything I had and see how things go. I think there were around 13 or 15 riders in front of me, and to take the victory after such a sprint it’s something special. I want to thank my team for helping me pull it off also today, the guys were incredible once again!”
Stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia will take the riders to the iconic Santuario di Oropa (6.2% over 11.8 kilometers), where 24-year-old Bob Jungels – another Quick-Step Floors rider to impress over the past two weeks – will be again in the spotlight, as he’ll try to defend his white jersey and top 10 overall.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele