Kleber Ramos Da Silva (Funvic) claimed an outstanding victory on the Queen Stage of the Tour de San Luis from Achiras (Córdoba) to Filo Sierras Comechingones. Second place went to Colombian rider Rodolfo Torres (two seconds behind him) with race leader Dani Díaz (Funvic) third (six seconds behind his teammate). Movistar leader Nairo Quintana finished fourth, 15 seconds behind the winner.
Brazilian Da Silva is the first-ever winner atop Comechingones, the toughest climb in the race’s history. “I am really proud of my victory. It is the most important win of my career,” he said. “It is a reward for the hard work that I have done during the race to help our leader,” pointed out before talking about Díaz: “He is a great rider and we knew that he was in good shape. The team has worked really hard for him and everything has gone well.”
Argentinian rider Dani Díaz was exulting with joy after his great performance in the Tour de San Luis 2015 and his teammate’s stage victory: “I am very grateful to my team and all the people that have been supporting me.” The current Argentinian champion will win his second Tour de San Luis title tomorrow as he has an advantage of 1:05 over Rodolfo Torres and 1:34 over Nairo Quintana in the overall classification. “I am focus on tomorrow’s stage. After the Tour de San Luis, I will take some rest and then I will ride the Vuelta Mexico” in March. However, he still dreams about riding in Europe: “I wish I could ride in Europe to take part in the best races in the World.”
The break of the day, formed with Antoine Duchesne (Team Europcar), Mattia Cattaneo (Lampre-Merida), Thomas Danielson (Team Cannondale-Garmin), Pavel Kochetkov (Team Katusha), Marco Canola (United Healthcare) and Juan Arango (Colombian National Team) got a maximum lead of 5:03. The peloton organised the chase and the six escapees were caught with 17 km to go. It was the last chance of the candidates for the overall victory to challenge race leader Dani Díaz, but finally the stage was decided during the last 300 meters in a lead group composed out of Díaz, Da Silva, Torres and Quintana. The current Argentinian champion and his teammate Da Silva succeeded showing that Funvic is the strongest team of the 2015 Tour de San Luis.
The final stage will likely become a homage to the winner rather than decisive in itself. In spite of the fact that the last stage is not completely flat, the sprinters will get their last chance for victory. It is expected to be a battle among Colombian Fernando Gaviria, British Mark Cavendish and Italian Sacha Modolo. The 122,4 km stage 7 (tomorrow at 15:41 local time) will finish at 18:35 based on an average speed of 42 km/h. The last stage of the Tour de San Luis has been won by Dani Moreno (2007), Juan José Haedo (2008 and 2009), Alberto Loddo (2010), Héctor Aguilar (2011), Tom Boonen (2012), Mattia Gavazzi (2013) and Sacha Modolo (2014).
Pictures by Pablo Cersosimo