After BORA – hansgrohe controlled the race most of the stage when a seven-rider breakaway went up the road. In the end a bunch sprint had to decide the stage as expected. Birthday boy Matteo Pelucchi finished in 3rd place, while the timing of the lead-out was not perfect yet and F. Gaviria took the first win.

The Stage
A flat stage opened the Vuelta a San Juan today in Argentina. Between San Juan and Pocito the peloton had to cover 148.9 kilometers and a bunch sprint was expected, as several teams wanted to give their fast men a chance for an early win in the race.

The Team Tactics
With Matteo Pelucchi and Pascal Ackermann BORA – hansgrohe had two cards to play today. But it was Matteo who was picked to go for the sprint, as it was also the Birthday of the now 29-year-old Italian. Michael Kolar and Ackermann were the lead-out men for Pelucchi who already showed good shape in the teams’ last training camp.

The Race
Early in the stage seven riders went up the road to form the breakaway of the day. But BORA – hansgrohe and Quickstep controlled the gap at two minutes and later increased their pace to catch the last breakaway riders with about 17k to go. In the stages’ final, the lead-out trains formed as usual, but BORA – hansgrohe was at the front early – too early. In the end F. Gaviria took the win, while Matteo Pelucchi crossed the line in 3rd place.

Results
01        F. Gaviria        3:15:23
02        N. Bonifazio    + 0:00
03        M. Pelucchi     + 0:00
04        G. Nizzolo       + 0:00
05        M. Belletti       + 0:00

From the Finish Line
“Well, we cannot be totally satisfied today. Our goal was, or now still is, to win a stage. The boys showed they are in good shape, but in the end, they hit the front way too early. Matteo had no other chance than to wait a little and then it was hard for him to defend his position. Third place is not bad, but we can achieve more.”– Enrico Poitschke, sports director