COVID-recovered Gaviria sprints to Burgos win

BURGOS, SPAIN (AFP) – Former coronavirus victim Fernando Gaviria pulverised all comers in a bunch sprint finish on stage two of the Tour of Burgos on Wednesday, hours after three of his teammates pulled out of the race due to COVID-19 concerns.

UAE Team Emirates rider Gaviria was quarantined for a month when falling sick with the virus in March, but the 25-year-old Colombian put in a fully convincing finish with his late pounce at Burgos.

“It’s one of the sweetest tasting victories this year, because of the whole hiatus and what’s happened with the virus,” Gaviria told a video conference after the race. Bora-hansgrohe’s Felix Grossschartner maintains the overall lead after winning Tuesday’s stage by a clear eight seconds.

This second stage of the five-day race was a pancake flat 168km run from Castrojeriz to Villadiego with a slow-paced peloton despite the 15 World Tour teams on the race in comparison to four last season.

The well-built Gaviria reacted best and opened up a comfortable gap before easing over the line with his arms aloft ahead of Frenchman Arnaud Demare, Sam Bennett and Matteo Trentin.