(06.11.2015 – Prensa / Press Tour de San Luis) · Nairo Quintana, Vincenzo Nibali, Peter Sagan, Rafal Majka, Andrew Talansky and Alexis Vuillermoz to headline the 10th Tour de San Luis
· Delko Marseille’s new recruit Dani Díaz ready to defend his crown
· Fernando Gaviria and Tom Boonen lead the list of sprinters
Latin America’s greatest cycling race was firstly presented in San Luis and then in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. Some of the stars and the 27 teams taking part in the 10th Tour de San Luis (January 18-24) were announced.
As usual, some of the best riders in the world will start their season in San Luis. Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), Rafal Majka (Tinkoff), Andrew Talansky (Garmin), Alexis Vuillermoz (Ag2r), Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quick Step) and his new teammate Fernando Gaviria –an outstanding sprinter despite being only 21 years old- will ride in Argentina. And, of course, Delko Marseille’s new recruit Dani Díaz who is ready to defend his 2015 Tour de San Luis crown.
The “challenge is to improve the previous editions.” This was the goal set by the organisation to mark its 10th anniversary, as confirmed by Carlos Rosso, the Minister for Sport of the San Luis government, some weeks ago. The Argentinian competition has become an important event in America thanks to the support of Alberto Rodríguez Saá, who witnessed the Tour de France ten years ago and started to work to launch a cycling project in his province, and his successor Carlos Poggi.
Giovanni Lombardi, responsible for hiring the riders and teams for the Argentinian competition, was really happy about the line-up for the 2016 Tour de San Luis. “It will be amazing,” he pointed out. The stellar line-up will face a thrilling route, but less difficult than the previous years.
Seven stages, two summit finishes
The peloton will race for 921.7 km across seven stages. There will be an opening team time trial –the first one in Tour de San Luis history- and two summit finishes: at Cerro El Amago (1.710 m) on stage 4 and Filo Sierras Comechingones (2.140 m) on stage 6. The sprinters and the bravest riders who attack far away from the finish line will fight to take the other stage victories.
Nairo Quintana, who won the 2010 Tour of the Future, the 2014 Giro d’Italia and has twice finished second at the Tour de France (2013 and 2015), will be one of the star attractions. The 25-year-old Colombian and 2014 Tour de San Luis winner will be Chris Froome’s main rival at the 2016 Tour de France. He is the idol of Latin American cycling fans.
The 30-year-old Italian Vincenzo Nibali (he will turn 31 on 14 November), who won the 2014 Tour de France, the 2013 Giro d’Italia and the 2010 Vuelta a España, is one of the few riders to have won all three Grand Tours. The Astana leader, who has taken part in five editions of the Argentinian race, won the 2010 Tour de San Luis.
After having participated in the 2013 and 2014 Tour de San Luis, Peter Sagan –nowadays, one of the main attractions for cycling supporters around the world– returns to the Argentinian competition. He will arrive in San Luis with the rainbow jersey. The current world champion, a spontaneous and pleasant rider who has won four consecutive green jerseys in the Tour de France, will try to show that he does not fear the alleged curse of the rainbow jersey.
Rafal Majka (Tinkoff); who won two stages (Risoul and Saint Lary Soulan) and the King of the Mountains award at the 2014 Tour de France, a stage at the 2015 Tour de France (Cauterets) and who finished third overall at the 2015 Vuelta a España (after Fabio Aru and ‘Purito’ Rodríguez), will also ride the 2016 Tour de San Luis.
Alexis Vuillermoz (Ag2r), winner on the Mûr-de-Bretagne on stage 8 of the last Tour de France and Rio Olympics test event winner; and Andrew Talansky (Garmin), Quintana’s main rival at the 2010 Tour of the Future and a rider who was able to beat Alberto Contador at the 2014 Dauphiné, will make their season debut in Argentina.
Pay attention to these riders!
Delko Marseille’s new recruit Dani Díaz, who won the 2013 and 2015 Tour de San Luis, is ready to defend his crown. For his part, Colombian Fernando Gaviria will return to the race that launched him to stardom in January 2015, after winning two stages ahead of Mark Cavendish. His teammate Tom Boonen will try to ride in San Luis. The four-time Paris-Roubaix winner, three-time Tour of Flanders winner and world champion in Madrid in 2005 continues his recovery from his Abu Dhabi crash.
It is definitively a never-ending list of stars. Theoretically, these ones will be the brightest stars in the 2016 Tour de San Luis peloton. But, pay attention, there are always surprises in January.
THE 27 PARTICIPATING TEAMS
WORLDTOUR TEAMS (7)
Movistar, Tinkoff, Astana, Etixx-Quick Step, Lampre, Ag2r and Garmin-Cannondale.
PROFESSIONAL CONTINENTAL TEAMS (6)
Androni-Giocattoli, UnitedHealthcare, Fortuneo-Vital Concept, Drapac, Delko Marseille Provence KTM and Nippo-Vini Fantini.
CONTINENTAL TEAMS (6)
Jamis, Vivo Paraguay, San Luis Somos Todos, Sep San Juan, Buenos Aires Provincia and Holowesko Hincapie.
NATIONAL TEAMS (8)
Argentina, Cuba, Colombia, Italy, Costa Rica, Mexico, Uruguay and Chile.