The opening stage of the UCI 2.1 race Colombia Oro y Paz has been won by local Colombian cyclist Fernando Gaviria of team Quickstep. The 23 year old sprinter was the fastest of the bunch sprint in the streets of Palmira, finishing before Sebastian Molano (COL) and teammate Maximiliano Richeze (ARG).
Stage one was a criterium of 9 laps in the student city of Palmira, and was as good as flat. The stage was a perfect showcase for the sprinters to show their speed, with Gaviria as the biggest favorite. The rider from Antioquia started the season well with stage wins in the Vuelta San Juan, held in Argentina in January. But after crashing out of the race, he was not sure how his injuries would hold up. Before ending in a bunch sprint, the race was colored by an escape of 5 riders hoping to sprint for the victory. It was local rider Rubiano who took the most points in the intermediate sprint, but unfortunately could not fight for the overall victory.
It was team Quickstep with the help of Medellin-Inder that speed up the peloton in the last lap to bridge the gap with the head of the race, and managed to do so with only 4 kilometers to go. Fernando Gaviria was launched by his train of blue riders, and they even managed to split up the front of the Peloton. It was only Molano of Manzana Postobon that could follow the train.
With less than 5 kilometers to go, there was a crash in the peloton, and it was Nairo Quintana that hit the tarmac. With the help of his younger brother he could get back onto his bike but did lose time for the general classification.