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Video: De Maar crashes out of winning break at Tour de San Luis

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Phil Gaimon (Garmin Sharp) and Marc de Maar (UnitedHealthcare) in the breakaway

Phil Gaimon (Garmin Sharp) and Marc de Maar (UnitedHealthcare) in the breakaway (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Marc de Maar (Unitedhealthcare) shaved off his beard for the final stage

Marc de Maar (Unitedhealthcare) shaved off his beard for the final stage (Image credit: Rob Lampard)

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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Based in the southeastern United States, Peter produces race coverage for all disciplines, edits news and writes features. The New Jersey native has 30 years of road racing and cyclo-cross experience, starting in the early 1980s as a Junior in the days of toe clips and leather hairnets. Over the years he's had the good fortune to race throughout the United States and has competed in national championships for both road and 'cross in the Junior and Masters categories. The passion for cycling started young, as before he switched to the road Peter's mission in life was catching big air on his BMX bike.