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Fernando Gaviria (Movistar) sprinted to victory on the opening stage of the Tour Colombia, much to the delight of the local commentators.
Mark Cavendish’s Astana team worked the most to control the race but the Manxman didn’t have enough speed and finished third on the stage behind Davide Persico (Bingoal WB).
Astana seemed to have everything lined up, reeling in the last two riders from the breakaway, Cristian Muñoz (NU Colombia) and Lauro Moro (Swift Carbon) with 8km to go and setting a quick pace to deter attackers.
However, the run-in to the finish got messy as Astana appeared to run out of gas in the final kilometre. Gaviria came to the fore as Cavendish lost position and held on to snag the stage win and first leader’s jersey.
How it unfolded
At the signing-on podium in Paipa, there was a warm welcome for the visiting Mark Cavendish and for Colombian favourites like Egan Bernal and Rigoberto Urán, but the longest acclaim on the opening morning of the Tour Colombia, inevitably, was reserved for local favourite…