Rousing ceremony kicks off South America's biggest race
The 24 teams comprising the Tour de San Luis peloton were introduced Sunday evening at the Terrazas del Portezuelo, a collection of eco-friendly buildings home to the San Luis provincial government situated high on a hilltop overlooking the city of San Luis, Argentina.
Following a video retrospective of the last year's Tour de San Luis and a speech from the Governor of San Luis, Claudio Javier Poggi, a pair of emcees took to the microphones to introduce each team amidst a raucous cavalcade of lights, thumping club music and applause from the thousands in attendance.
The 48-minute long series of introductions was kicked off by the national team of Uruguay and concluded with an explosion of confetti, streamers and fireworks for the local Continental team of San Luis Somos Todos, featuring the race's defending champion Daniel Diaz.
As each team stepped off stage they remained in view as a VIP bleacher section adjacent to the stage was gradually filled by each squad participating in the eight edition of the Tour de San Luis.
While an untold number of cameras were wielded by those in the audience, plenty of riders on stage snapped photos of their own as they soaked up the applause.
Former Colombian football star Carlos "El Pibe" Valderrama, possessing perhaps the most famous head of hair ever to set foot on a football pitch, joined the Colombia team on stage while another Colombian, Movistar's Nairo Quintana, stopped the show in his own right as he was the only rider to be interviewed during the presentation.
While the music was turned off for Quintana's interview, once Movistar left the stage Pitbull's "Don't Stop the Party" commenced playing at bone-rattling decibels for the introduction of the evening's final team - the home San Luis Somos Todos squad.
The seven-day Tour de San Luis commences Monday with an opening, 164km stage from San Luis to Villa Mercedes, expected to end in a field sprint finale.
Click here to see the gallery of the team presentation.
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