Etixx – Quick-Step to Haut Var
Rodrigo Contreras and Fernando Gaviria will make their comeback to the peloton at the two-day French event.
This week-end will see Etixx – Quick-Step race in France for the first time in 2016, and among the eight riders who will compete at the 48th edition of the Tour du Haut Var there will be also Rodrigo Contreras and Fernando Gaviria, who are both returning to action after being sidelined due to injuries for a full month. The two young Colombians have enjoyed a strong start to the season in the Tour de San Luis – Contreras was leading the U23 classification at one point, while Gaviria had won a stage in spectacular fashion – before they were forced to retire from the Argentinian race after they were involved in a massive crash.
Speaking of their comeback, sport director Davide Bramati, who’ll join the team for the two-day race, said: “We’re glad to have Rodrigo and Fernando back. It’s a pity they had to miss a month’s racing, especially as the momentum was there, but we’re confident they can get to a good level again. Of course, this won’t happen in Haut Var, where they will take it slow after being out of the game for four weeks and will try to find their rhythm. What’s important is that we are ready to go and we’ll line up a nice team, which includes also Maxime Bouet – who rode there in more than one occasion and even came in the top 10 once – and we’ll see what we can take out of the race.”
The Tour du Haut Var (20-21 February) will begin with a 155-km long stage between Le Cannet des Maures and Bagnols-en-Forêt, which could very well finish with a sprint, albeit one from a reduced group, before concluding on Sunday, when the peloton will face a hilly course around Draguignan (206.8 kilometers), a small and charming town just 80 kilometers off Nice.
Etixx – Quick-Step for Tour du Haut Var: Maxime Bouet, Rodrigo Contreras, Fernando Gaviria, Nikolas Maes, Pieter Serry, Petr Vakoč, Martin Velits, Lukasz Wisniowski.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele