Gaviria caps off fantastic Quick-Step Floors season with victory on Guangxi final stage
The Colombian wrapped up the points classification in style, while teammate Julian Alaphilippe won the white jersey.
Fernando Gaviria completed a poker of stage victories at the inaugural Tour of Guangxi by crossing the line in celebration on the final day of the race, which started and finished in the town of Guilin. For the 23-year-old Colombian, it was the 14th success of the year, which saw him join teammate Marcel Kittel at the top of the 2017 win list.
Gaviria – a stage victor in all multi-day events he raced this season – relied once again on an outstanding Quick-Step Floors team, which kept the breakaway on a leash with the help of Rémi Cavagna, Davide Martinelli, Pieter Serry and Martin Velits (who was making the final outing of his pro career), before Max Richeze catapulted him on the long straight to the line, where the blue jersey wearer comfortably beat Niccolo Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida) and Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo).
"There couldn't have been a better way for calling it a season. I'm happy to take the win on the last stage of this race and finish off the excellent job of my teammates, who made sure I got the maximum out of this race. It's been a long and rewarding season, one during which I've gone from strength to strength, continued to develop and learn, and all these things make me even more motivated for 2018. But before that and resuming training, I'll go home, enjoy some rest and spend time with my family", said Gaviria, the only rider to take four wins in two different World Tour stage races this season, the Giro d'Italia and the Tour of Guangxi.
Not only that he played an important role in Quick-Step Floors' lead-out train in China, but Julian Alaphilippe also rode for the general classification, where he ended up fourth, 15 seconds behind the winner. On top of that, by finishing first in the youth classification, the Frenchman notched up his fourth distinctive jersey of the year, after the ones in Abu Dhabi and Paris-Nice: "The Tour of Guangxi was a nice experience; the team worked hard and we got repaid with this incredible run. It's the end of the season, but I felt good and fourth place is a nice result. I like this race and I hope to return here in the next years."
The Tour of Guangxi was the final stop of the season for Quick-Step Floors, for the sixth year running the most successful team in the world. The outfit managed by Patrick Lefevere scored 59 victories, 56 of which came in UCI races. Of these, 30 were attained in World Tour events, making it an all-time best for our squad, who has won races in 2017 with 14 riders across 15 different countries.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele