Quick-Step Floors is on fire this week and doesn’t waste any opportunity in taking advantage of the superb form and momentum that is currently enjoying. After Fernando Gaviria opened his Colombia Oro y Paz campaign with a convincing win and Michael Mørkøv landed his seventh career victory at the Six Days of Copenhagen on Tuesday, Elia Viviani added to our remarkable haul of victories in the Dubai Tour, before the same Gaviria capped off an incredible 24 hours with another strong sprint at his home race, extending his lead in the general classification.
Once again, Iljo Keisse and Jhonatan Narvaez had the task of controlling the six-man breakaway who got green light from the peloton after the day’s first intermediate sprint, nabbed by Fernando. The Quick-Step Floors duo, helped by a couple of teams in the last 20 kilometers, cut back the deficit to a minute and made sure of mopping them up inside the last ten kilometers of the stage to Palmira, the finishing venue for the second straight day.
With two kilometers left, Alvaro Hodeg stretched out the peloton, before Maximiliano Richeze took over in the final and launched Fernando Gaviria as he approached the last corner of the stage. From there, the pink jersey wearer got out of the saddle, unleashed an impressive burst of speed and eased over the line arms aloft, celebrating his third win of the season.
“Of course I am very happy, because it was another perfect day for Quick-Step Floors: Elia won in the morning and a few hours later I took another victory in front of my family and supporters, who were again unbelievable. It was a long day with high temperatures, but we controlled it – also with the help of other teams – and the win is for my fantastic teammates”, said Fernando Gaviria after retaining the lead in the overall, points and youth classification.
Stage 3, from Palmira to Buga, will be the last opportunity for the sprinters at this edition, and even though he dominated both bunch gallops so far, Fernando doesn’t take anything for granted: “Tomorrow we will have a different stage, with a long, straight finish. It would be a dream to complete a hat-trick of victories, but I’m not thinking of this now. All I want is to enjoy this beautiful moment together with my teammates and countrymen.”