The Tour de France is where the best sprinters in the world are crowned and during the opening stage on Saturday in Fontenay-Le-Comte - on his race debut - we saw a young prodigy take his first win at the race to take his place at sprinting's top table. Fernando Gaviria's past results and potential have been undeniable, but after convincingly winning the stage 1 his place among the elite of the sport is undeniable.
Still just 23, Gaviria already has four Giro d'Italia stage wins and the points jersey under his belt, and will undoubtedly be looking for a similar return at this race.
Last May though, he was up against André Greipel, Caleb Ewan and Sam Bennett. This time around Mark Cavendish, Peter Sagan, Alexander Kristoff, Dylan Groenewegen and Arnaud Demaré join Greipel in a battle royale of the world's top fastmen.
But the day was no trouble for Gaviria, who also took fourth place behind the breakaway at the intermediate sprint. He and his Quick-Step Floors teammates navigated the tricky final kilometres with ease, avoiding the crashes that took out a number of other riders, including GC favourite Chris Froome.
And his team - probably the strongest lead-out train in the world today - played no small part in today's win. Six of the so-called 'wolfpack' were up front in the finale, with Julian Alaphilippe, Bob Jungels, Niki Terpstra and Yves Lampaert all employed to keep the pace high before the master final lead-out man Maximiliano Richeze delivered Gaviria right on the front.
Of course from there, the victory is no given, especially with Kristoff, Kittel and Sagan glued to your wheel. But Gaviria gave an assured sprint to the line, holding the cream of the crop off with some ease.
Santiago Botero and Lucho Herrera both share the record for the most Tour stage wins by a Colombian, with three apiece. With Gaviria showing form like this - and with his team so well-drilled - it's tough to imagine that they'll still hold the record come the end of the race. Gaviria might even own it midway through.
Daniel Ostanek: Before the Tour, Gaviria was definitely a name people were looking towards to announce himself in such winning fashion. At May's Tour of California, he got the better of a similarly-strong sprinting field on three occasions, and with his potential to be the best sprinters in the world, he already looked to be on his way there.
To actually fulfil that potential though, you have to produce on the biggest stage of them all. His victories in California, at the Giro, Paris-Tours, Tirreno-Adriatico and Pologne have allowed Gaviria build a palmares beyond his years, and this July it looks like it's only going to get better.
We will announce the readers' poll winner for stage 1 after stage 2.
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