Gaimon Wins Stage 1 of 2014 Tour de San Luis
Team Garmin-Sharp's American Phillip Gaimon won the first stage of this year's Tour de San Lui. Gaimon soloed to victory in the city of Villa Mercedes after a long breakaway on a day where the heat was the main rival facing the riders.
Emiliano Contreras of Team Argentine Selection and Marc De Maar of Team United Healthcare both finished on the podium after being part of today's breakaway group. Argentine rider Contreras crossed the finish line 12 seconds behind Gaimon, while De Maar crossed the finish line 1 minute 17 seconds after the stage winner. Initially, Leandro Messineo of San Luis Somos Todos and Cristian Da Rosa of Dataro-Botteccchia were also part the breakaway, but a crash approximately 15 kilometer from the finish line forced them to abandon the race.
Under weather conditions which reaced 39 degrees Celsius, Gaimon won the 166.2 kilometer stage 1 from San Luis to Villa Mercedes in 4 hours, 6 minutes and 54 seconds.
Gaimon, Lucas Gaday of Buenos Aires La Provincia, Contreras, De Maar, Messineo and Da Rosa broke away from the main peloton group only a few kilometers after the stage start and through coordinated work built a 9 minute advantage over the peloton. In the end Gaimon proved to be the strongest man of the day as he won the stage and took the overall Tour de San Luis race lead.
"Chann (McRae, team sports director) thought it might be worth it to toss me into the break today, since the big teams don’t know who I am. That plan kinda worked like a charm. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I’d be wearing yellow here. Unless I wake up and it was all a dream, wizard of oz style," Gaimon told RoadCycling.com.
"Now we expect to keep the race lead with my team. We’ll fight to bring it home for the team," Gaimon added.
Tomorrow's mountaneous stage 2 will take the riders 170.6 kilometers from the city of La Punta to the Mirador Potrero de los Funes.