Gaviria: ”I’ve worked hard to reach this level and get my first WorldTour victory”

“I am very happy for taking a win in my first World Tour race and for repaying the team’s confidence. I worked hard to get here and now I’m enjoying this incredible day. I rode pressure-free, my goal was to take it day by day and see how my legs will respond. It has been an excellent week so far for the team. I am in good shape and I have to thank for that to our trainer, Koen Pelgrim, who was very close to me in the past months”, said Gaviria at the arrival, before continuing with an analysis of the finale: “The last kilometer wasn’t as tough as we thought, that’s why many sprinters made it over that small climb. I had a very strong team, who helped me a lot before I jumped into Sagan’s wheel and launched my sprint. I want to thank the entire team for their work, because I got to experience this special feeling, of notching my maiden World Tour victory. Of course, winning the Omnium world title was also very emotional, but these are two victories which can’t be compared.”

“It’s been a very hard race today, especially for me coming fresh from the Track World Championships. All the teams were trying to win the stage. I’m extremely satisfied. The last 200 metres have been perfect. Etixx – Quick Step is such a great team, we’re ready to win on any kind of terrain.

“It’s been a complicated sprint. All teams were positioning their sprinter. Most of them were tired while Etixx – Quick Step was still able to do a phenomenal job for me. They even led me out too fast. I was touched by someone on my left but fortunately I had the legs to finish it off.

“We worked hard as a team to get here. It’s a great day for us, we got a great win and I’ve got to thank my team for helping me win my first WorldTour race.

“It was a pretty complicated sprint because all the teams wanted to move up their sprinters in the finale. At the end we were all up there and my team did a great job. We started to move left and right and people touched shoulders inside the final kilometre but I had great legs and that helped me win today.

“This is not a surprise: I’ve worked hard to reach this level and get my first WorldTour victory today just after I won the omnium at the Track World Championship even though it was not a goal for me. I’ve trained a lot with my coach but not for the track. My training plans were only built for road racing at WorldTour level. That’s why the transition from track to road was easier for me than for Mark Cavendish. He spent a lot of time in Manchester with the British track team while I only rode on a velodrome three days before the World Championships.

“I have not seen the stage of tomorrow. I want to think day by day, with no pressure . I want to see what I can do with my legs, and maybe try to win again.

“This has been an excellent week in which I had a very good physical condition. This is mainly due to the coach who has followed me closely and my family that helped me a lot. This is one more reason to continue giving the best of myself.

Seeing his current form and knowing that he’s on the start list for this year’s Milan-Sanremo, many began to speculate on the fact that he could have a major role in “La Primavera”, which is scheduled on March 19th, but Gaviria immediately downplayed this expectations ahead of his first Monument: “To be quite frankly, I can’t wait to race Milan-Sanremo, but I’m not thinking of getting the victory there. Let’s not forget that I’ve never rode a 300-km long race. For me, it will be a great moment even to be at the start, and all I want is to enjoy this Classic, to see how my body will react and gain valuable experience.

“I think l’ll ride Milan-San Remo but I don’t know what I can do. I think I’m the team’s sprinter for Milan-San Remo but it’s not only a race for sprinters, it’s a race for strong riders. I hope to have the legs for 300km. For now my goal is to finish it.

“My dream is to win Paris-Roubaix. I’ve only ever seen Paris-Roubaix on TV, it’s an exciting and a hard race. I like it because it finishes in a velodrome…”