Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team to Colombia Oro y Paz
Fernando Gaviria will return to action in his home race, as part of a strong six-man line-up.
The inaugural edition of Colombia Oro y Paz can be easily split into two parts: a first one focused on the sprinters, who'll battle out in Palmira (twice) and Buga for victories and the points classification, and a second one comprising three uphill finishes, favouring, of course, the climbers, who'll be also the ones fighting for the overall honors at the South American race taking place from 6 to 11 February.
Fernando Gaviria made a winning start to his 2018 season last month, at the Vuelta a San Juan, where he scored his 24th career victory in the Quick-Step Floors jersey, but a crash took him out of the Argentinean week-long event, so now the 23-year-old will look to find out where he sits after that forced break due to which he had to miss several race days.
"I am very happy to be for the first time since turning pro at the start of a stage race organized in my country. I'd love to take a win in front of my supporters and family, but the most important thing is to see how I feel after the San Juan injury. Things are better now, I had good feelings during this week's training rides, but I'll get a more conclusive answer after the National Championships, on Sunday", said Fernando Gaviria.
Julian Alaphilippe – the first Frenchman in the last 20 years to podium in two Monuments in the same season (Milano-Sanremo and Il Lombardia) – is set to start his season in Colombia, where the 25-year-old pocket-rocket climber will be joined by Quick-Step Floors teammates Alvaro Hodeg, Iljo Keisse, Jhonatan Narvaez (the National Champion of Ecuador) and Maximiliano Richeze, all of whom have raced Vuelta a San Juan last week.
Photo credit: ©Sigfrid Eggers