Of the last ten sprint finishes in the Back to San Juan, only Sam Bennett (2019), Giacomo Nizzolo (2018) and the mythical tom bonen (2017) were able to intrude on the domain of Fernando Gaviria, King of the Argentine event with seven wins in the aforementioned period. However, the honor in this first stage of the 39th edition of the San Juan race did not correspond to the coffee grower, who would have achieved a dream debut with the colors of Movistar, since the Irishman from Bora-Hansgrohe took advantage of a chaotic approach to the sprint to seize the victory and the leadership.
In the last bars of the stage, a poor signaling when passing through a series of islets left the Soudal Quick-Step train out of action, which led by Remco Evenepoel brought Fabio Jakobsen closer to perfection so that the Dutchman started with an advantage in the volata. The members of the Belgian team, with the exception of Michael Morkov who finished second, took the left side of the road, which was not the correct one, and got carried away in the last meters, unable to re-engage in battle.
As expected, the first contact with the competition this season turned out to be calm, without the need to force the engine. The getaway of the day was a complete representation of Latin America, with five Argentine runners, two Panamanians, a Chilean and a Uruguayan. As a foreigner, the Italian joined Manuele Tarozzi, of the Bardiani. The ten breakaways got on well, but the control exerted on the peloton by Soudal Quick-Step did not allow their lead to exceed three minutes. Not even the double pass through the Cow Hill, only scoring level of the day, disturbed an outcome clearly focused on the mass sprint…
What must be taken into account for the most decisive stages is the accumulated wear and tear, which in this debut of the race came from the hand of the strong heat (around 35º) and endless lines they did not give up. With 25 km to go, the breakaways were neutralized and the sprinter teams began to take up positions at the head of the peloton. A 8 km from the end a massive crash took place product of a small lurch in the middle area of the large group, a typical mishap resulting from nervousness that, fortunately, did not have serious consequences. In the sprint, with men like Gaviria (12th) and Jakobsen out of the game, a excellent Danny van Poppel, one of the best pitchers today, he carried Bennett in the wings so that he finished the job. This Monday, second stage with another predictable outcome to the sprint.