Atypical opener in Argentina
21 January 2014

Tour de San Luis (st. 1)

Gaimon (GRS) takes first San Luis lead after long breakaway holds off peloton, held up by heat, mechanicals and mass crash with no Movistar Team affected

It was a strange development of events during stage one of the 8th Tour de San Luis. An apparently easy stage of 166km from the province’s capital city to Villa Mercedes saw an early breakaway sticking: initially five members, it was later reduced to four after local Julián Gaday (BAP) dropped, then to only two as Messineo (SLS) and De Maar (UHC) crashed with less than 15k remaining.

American Phil Gaimon (GRS) beat Julián Contreras (ARG) at the finish for the first leader’s jersey, the bunch held up by intense heat -which caused some stomach problems to Nairo Quintana, though the Colombian could finish the stage-, several mechanical problems and a mass crash halfway through the stage, with more than thirty riders involved -yet with no Movistar Team members seriously injured-, which effectively ended the real chase for the stage.

The 4.35-minute advantage of the duo over the bunch -including Amador, Intxausti and Malori, plus Quintana, dropped by an incident yet awarded the same time of the field by the race jury- still looks short for a race which will take on the first of its three mountain-top finishes on Tuesday: the Mirador del Potrero (Cat-1, 5km at 6.8%), ending point of a 171-kilometer fraction that will start at La Punta.