Were it not for a momentary mental lapse by Phil Gaimon (Garmin-Sharp) late in the opening stage of the Tour de San Luis, UnitedHealthcare's Marc de Maar might have been the rider to pull off a momentous victory in the finishing city of Villa Mercedes rather than the Garmin-Sharp debutant.
At approximately 20km to go in the 164km first stage, Gaimon led de Maar and two other breakaway companions, Leandro Messineo (San Luis Somos Todos) and Emiliano Contreras (Argentina), into a roundabout but made an error as to which road they needed to take for their exit. As a result, both de Maar and Messineo crashed, leaving Gaimon and Contreras to vie for victory and the Argentinean race's first leader's jersey.
De Maar would ultimately finish in third, 1:17 down on Gaimon, and proved to be as big a gentleman in his assessment of the incident as Gaimon, who expressed immediate regret after winning the stage.
Moments after crossing the finish line de Maar relates what happened at the roundabout, makes a wry comment about the heat, reveals that he's racing with a recently broken collarbone, and discusses his long day off the front at the Tour de San Luis.
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