The Andes mountains it was a sight for the runners in the fourth stage of the Vuelta a San Juan. Remco Evenepoel received his before reaching those impressive landscapes, when in the runners’ presentation (San Juan Villicum Circuit) they sang his happy birthday for his 23rd spring. But the ‘Boy Wonder’, as he was called by the speaker, He was not the protagonist of the day. That honor fell to Fernando Gaviria, who only four days of competition with his new team, the Movistar, They have been enough to return to the path of triumph. The Colombian, who he had not won since the last stage of the Tour of Oman 2022, He breaks a 344-day winless drought by beating Peter Sagan and Filippo Ganna in a sprint.
After three days of practically flat route, a taster of what will be to come next Friday arrived with the decisive final in Alto del Colorado. A mid-mountain profile, with three scoring heights, intended to add a little spice to a race dominated until now by sprinters. Yes, with permission Quinn Simmons… And wow, there was, because in a large escape of 16, of which the leader was part of at first Sam Bennett until it was off the hook, leaked neither more nor less than Egan Bernal. A real joy to see the man from Zipaquirá so active again. After overcoming the small chain of a third and a first category, the group of escapees had a small income, so the multicolored snake calmly waited for its moment.
After halfway through the stage, the peloton decided to open the throttle. The Movistar, with Vinicius Rangel in the lead, again, it blew up the race and cut the main group by just 60 units. Gaviria was rubbing his hands on the way to the group sprint, since two of his greats rivals were off the hook in the second port: Jakobsen and Bennett. And the one from La Ceja did not forgive… Ganna he tried to anticipate with a surprise change of pace on the finish straight, aware of his lower top speed compared to the pure sprinters, but both Sagan and Gaviria passed him easily. The Colombian, much superior, took the cat to the water to reach the 50 wins in his record, put on the leader’s jersey and raise his arms again in San Juan, something he had not done since 2020. The union is already paying off.