Fernando Gaviria is expected to make his debut with UAE Team Emirates at the Vuelta a San Juan, going up against Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) in the sprint finishes.
This year’s Vuelta a San Juan will be held between January 27 to February 3, which allows Sagan to first ride the Tour Down Under (January 15-20). Full details of the seven stages have to still be announced.
Gaviria made his professional break through at the Tour de San Luis, which preceded the Vuelta a San Juan as the early season race in South America. He won three stages at the Tour de San Luis and two stages at the 2017 Vuelta a San Juan, plus another in 2018, using the Argentinean race to polish his form and sprinting before bigger goals in Europe.
Gaviria won nine races with Quick-Step Floors in 2018, including two stages at the Tour de France, but moved to UAE Team Emirates after Quick-Step Floors team manager Patrick Lefevere struggled to find sponsorship to cover the costs of all his big-name riders. Gaviria signed a three-year contract with UAE Team Emirates and will be the team’s lead sprint in 2019.
The organisers of the Vuelta a San Juan secured the presence of Sagan and Cavendish in early November and have struck a deal to ensure the race is broadcast on Eurosport.
Gaviria is likely to also clash with his former lead out man Max Richeze, while double junior world champion Remco Evenepoel, will begin his professional career with Deceuninck-Quick Step in the Argentinean stage race. Julian Alaphilippe has also confirmed he will make his 2019 season debut at the Vuelta a San Juan with Deceuninck-Quick Step.