Vuelta a San Juan (st. 4)
Crash by Gaviria (QST) into final 60km towards San Agustín breaks bunch into two groups, with both of the Movistar Team’s GC references seeing their chances ruined. Richeze (QST) wins st. 4; Dayer Quintana stays into first group
Argentinian Max Richeze (QST) took Wednesday’s honours on stage four of the 2018 Vuelta a San Juan -183km from San José Jáchal to Villa San Agustín-, completely overshadowed by a crash inside the final third of the race, after the peloton was over the most significant climb of Ischigualasto (Cat-1; 1,800m above sea level).
The incident, which did not hit any of the Movistar Team riders and made Fernando Gaviria (QST) abandon amongst many others, did split the bunch into four echelons later regrouped into two: a 50-man front split including race leader Filippo Ganna (UAD), with teams Lotto and Bora pushing hard and Dayer Quintana keeping the pace; and a second group to which Eduardo Sepúlveda and Winner Anacona were dropped, the Jaimerena-led group forced to pull and limit their losses.
Despite the persistence by the two Blues and other team-mates, like Víctor de la Parte, Antonio Pedrero or Richard Carapaz, to make their way back to the front -the gap staying 1’30” with 15km remaining, 40k after the incident happened-, the furious, final pace by the main bunch took the better of them and ruled out Winner and ‘Edu’ from any GC chances. Dayer now becomes the Blues’ main chance (15th overall, +1’13”) before Friday’s Queen stage atop the Alto Colorado. Before that, the peloton will enjoy a much-unusual rest day in this seven-stage event.
Picture (c): BettiniPhoto.net