Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) has revealed he will not celebrate sprint victories when he beats his former QuickStep teammates as a sign of respect, but he intends “to win as much as possible” in 2019, with Milan-San Remo a first major target for the spring before he goes on to finally make his debut in the cobbled Classics of northern Europe. He is also due to return to the Tour de France after two stage victories and a day in the yellow jersey in 2018, with the world road race championships in Yorkshire a final goal of the season.
Gaviria has already won two stages at the Vuelta a San Juan, with his new UAE Team Emirates teammates quickly forming an effective and successful lead out train and delivering him to the finish. Gaviria has a lot of respect and admiration for his former teammates on Decenuninck-QuickStep, but he does not seem to regret making the move to UAE Team Emirates and signing an economically better three-year contract.
"It’s been a big change in my life, it's not easy to change teams. I was at QuickStep for three years and the riders were my friends too, but we struck a good deal and everyone was happy. I feel I’m at the centre of this new project,” Gaviria pointed out during an interview with the media present at the Vuelta a San Juan, including Cyclingnews.
A bike throw wins stage 4 in San Juan for Gaviria ahead of Sagan (Bettini Photo)
Respect for his former QuickStep teammates
Gaviria preferred to always speak in Spanish while at QuickStep but seemed happy to try to speak in English now, only switching to his native tongue to express a difficult concept. He speaks Italian with the young Italian riders with him in San Juan, but he knows that UAE Team Emirates is now an English-first team after it changed its medical and coaching staff over the winter.
Max Richeze congratulates Fernando Gaviria after Gaviria won stage 1 in San Juan (Bettini Photo)
A full Classics campaign
Gaviria will ride the Tour Colombia 2.1 race at home in mid-February and then ride the UAE Tour – the home of his new sponsors. He will then head to Italy for Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo, before a full Classics campaign in Belgium plus Paris-Roubaix. Adding the Ardennes is perhaps for another year.
Gaviria and Gianluca Brambilla cross the 2016 Milan-San Remo line after Gaviria crashed (Getty Images)