News | Benelux Tour • August 30, 2021
Gaviria battles crosswinds to take 4th in Benelux opener
Colombian just shy of podium in reduced sprint
Fernando Gaviria put in a fast finish to take fourth place on a windswept stage 1 of the Benelux Tour which began in the Netherlands today.
Gaviria was alert to a split in the group with 20km left to ride which was caused by a high pace and crosswinds on the 169km from Surhuisterveen to Dokkum.
The group reduced to twenty-odd riders with Gaviria surfing the wheels in the sprint to clinch 4th place behind stage winner Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix).
Gaviria: “It was a hard stage especially in the last kilometres where there was constant pressure being put on the front. I’m glad I made the split and I tried for the win but just ran out of legs after the big efforts made throughout the day. There will be many opportunities later in the week and we hope to take them.”
Merlier becomes the first race leader heading into stage 2 individual time-trial starting and finishing in Lelystad (11.1km), where the likes of Mikkel Bjerg and Brandon McNulty will aim for a strong result against the clock.
Benelux Tour Stage 1 results:
1.Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) 3h32’20”
2.Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-Victorious) s.t
3.Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck-Quickstep) s.t
4. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) s.t
General Classification after stage 1:
1.Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) 3h32’10”
2.Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-Victorious) +4”
3.Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck-Quickstep) +6”
10. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) +10”