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by Shane Stokes
January 10, 2018
Paris-Nice route rejigging sets up major final battle; Trentin sidelined due to rib fracture; Gaviria chasing early success in Argentina: ‘I am confident my good luck will continue’; Mitchelton-Scott takes new approach to Santos Tour Down Under with no GC goals; UCI imposes bans on Matzka, Da Silva Ramos and three others; Study suggests those in middle age can reverse heart risk through exercise; MAMIL movie being screened in Australia, but pre-booking necessary; Video: Team Sky Gets Pulled Over By Police in Adelaide For Practicing Marginal Traffic Gains; Video: Elia Viviani: Settling in at Quick-Step Floors; Video: Quick-Step Floors: Ready to rock ‘n’ roll the 2018 season; Video: Weaver on the accident which left her with multiple fractures
Having taken two stage wins last year in the Vuelta a San Juan, Fernando Gaviria is returning to the race again this month aiming to get 2018 off to a successful start. “Racing in Argentina will always be special for me, because it was there that in 2015 I got my foot in the door at Quick Step,” he said, referring to the previous early-season event there, the Tour de San Luis.
“After that, premiering in this country has become a tradition that I like a lot, because I always win something – two stages in 2015, one in 2016 and two in 2017. The crowds are fantastic and you can count on fine weather, which allows us to start the season off on the right foot.”
Following Marcel Kittel’s departure, he will be the team’s star sprinter in 2018. The 23-year-old-Colombian took 14 wins last year, including four stage wins in his debut Grand Tour, the Giro d’Italia. He is likely to ride the Tour de France this July.
“I want to keep progressing because I still haven’t shown my full potential,” he said. “Last season gave me lots of confidence and plenty of motivation, and I plan to continue being a major player.” However he knows he has to keep working hard. “It isn’t easy to win in cycling. You have to be well prepared and have a good team backing you up; yet even then you can never be sure of a win. Although I trust that my good luck will continue in Argentina, and that is why I’ve been preparing all winter.”
The Vuelta a San Juan runs from January 21 to 28.