JUANA KOSLAY, Argentina (VN) — An Argentinian escape group made its mark on Tour de San Luis stage 5, with national team rider German Tivani nabbing the victory in a three-man sprint Friday. Last year’s overall winner Daniel Díaz (Delko – Marseille) settled for second behind his 20-year-old countryman, denied a chance at redemption after falling out of GC contention earlier this week. SEP – San Juan’s Emiliano Ibarra finished third in the 168.7km stage.
Stage 5, top 10
- 1. German Nicolas TIVANI PEREZ, ARG, in 3:37:39
- 2. Daniel DIAZ, DELKO MARSEILLE PROVENCE KTM, at :00
- 3. Emiliano IBARRA, SINDICATO DE EMPLEADOS PUBLICOS DE SAN JUAN, at :00
- 4. Elia VIVIANI, ITA, at 1:34
- 5. Lucas Sebastian HAEDO, TEAM JAMIS, at 1:34
- 6. Eduard Michael GROSU, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 1:34
- 7. Davide CIMOLAI, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at 1:34
- 8. Yannick MARTINEZ, DELKO MARSEILLE PROVENCE KTM, at 1:34
- 9. Marco CANOLA, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 1:34
- 10. Grega BOLE, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 1:34
- 1. Eduardo SEPULVEDA, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, in 15:39:29
- 2. Dayer Uberney QUINTANA ROJAS, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :03
- 3. Rodrigo CONTRERAS, ETIXX – QUICK STEP, at :38
- 4. Nairo Alexander QUINTANA ROJAS, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :42
- 5. Miguel Angel LOPEZ MORENO, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :51
- 6. Roman VILLALOBOS, CRC, at 1:06
- 7. Janier Alexis ACEVEDO COLLE, TEAM JAMIS, at 1:09
- 8. Ilia KOSHEVOY, LAMPRE – MERIDA, at 1:22
- 9. Rafal MAJKA, TINKOFF, at 1:36
- 10. Andre Fernando S. Martins CARDOSO, CANNONDALE PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 1:37
With a flat finish on tap, stage 5 looked set for a big bunch sprint, but things didn’t quite go as planned for the quick men in Juana Koslay, Argentina.
Tivani, Diaz, Ibarra, and Uruguay’s Ramiro Cabrera escaped early on in the action, but for much of the stage, the peloton appeared to have things under control, with Tinkoff, the Italian national team, Movistar, and Fortuneo – Vital Concept all pitching in at the front of the pack.
Cabrera fell off the pace in the break inside the final 40km, but the rest of the escapees pressed on. The gap stood at a little over three minutes with 35km left in the stage.
Then, a massive crash about 30 kilometers from the finish threw the chase into disarray.
Movistar’s Adriano Malori, at the very head of the peloton, rode over a crack in the asphalt and came down hard, causing a domino effect behind him. Dozens of riders hit the deck, including race leader Eduardo Sepúlveda (Fortuneo-Vital Concept).
The chase fell to pieces in the ensuing chaos, as riders looked around for teammates and GC hopefuls, allowing the break to start building the advantage once again.
“It almost felt like we gave up and just said, ‘Some of the bigger guys went down, we don’t need to push it from here on out. Let those four guys go for the win.’ They worked hard today,” Eric Marcotte (Jamis) told VeloNews.
As the breakaway made it into the final 10km with four minutes in hand, it became clear that the three remaining escapees would fight for the stage victory amongst themselves—inspiring Daniel Díaz to go on the attack.
The former race winner made his first attempt to get clear with just under 10km to go, but Tivani reeled him in quickly. Díaz tried again inside the last three kilometers, and this time he was able to open up a bit of an advantage—but he was unable to maintain the gap. Tivani and Ibarra closed down the move as the escapees reached the 1km-to-go banner, setting up a three-way sprint for the stage.
Díaz was the first to launch his sprint, but Tivani responded moments later, sailing past Díaz to take a convincing win. Ibarra crossed the line a distant third.
“We spent a lot of energy to be in the break today,” Tivani said. “I knew that I was faster than Dani and I waited for the sprint. I felt really good.”
The stage winner also noted that he had been battling stomach problems earlier in the race, almost abandoning the race—but he recovered in time to take the biggest victory of his career.
“I felt very sick yesterday but I tried to continue with the race,” he said. “I’m glad for that!”
The peloton arrived just over a minute and a half behind the break, led by Elia Viviani in a sprint for fourth place.
The crash left Sepúlveda’s left leg a bit worse for the wear, but he crossed the line with the peloton and maintained his control on the race lead. The rest of the top 5 also held onto their GC positions, though third-placed Rodrigo Contreras (Etixx – Quick-Step) suffered a leg injury of his own.
Malori, the first to go down in the crash, was transferred to a nearby hospital for further evaluation.
Saturday’s 159.5km stage 6 should prove more decisive in the battle for the overall as it features a mountaintop finish on the 1,450-meter (4,757 feet) Mirador del Sol. With a flat final stage around San Luis on Sunday, the Mirador will be one last chance for the GC favorites to attack.