Deceuninck – Quick-Step get off their South American campaign on the right foot.
Home favourite Maximiliano Richeze gave local fans something to cheer about, after winning the 10km criterium held Saturday evening, less than twenty-four hours before the start of the 37th Vuelta a San Juan.
The 35-year-old Argentinean, who closed out his 2018 season by sprinting to victory in Difunta Correa, made his move not far from the finish, inside the last two laps of the race, when he attacked from the peloton, taking only Nairo Quintana (Movistar) with him.
The duo put around half a minute between them and the chasers, and on the home straight, the 35-year-old Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider didn’t encounter any problem in taking the win by several bike lengths to the joy of the local crowd, with the Colombian and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) rounding out the podium.
“This victory in front of my public makes me happy. I raced here when I was young and it feels like home for me. After concluding last season with a win in Argentina, opening my 2019 account in my country gives me pride and joy”, Max Richeze said. “The public was amazing, one of the best in the world, and I am grateful for this welcome. It was also nice to have my family here and my daughter, who got to see me win. We can’t wait to race on Sunday, we are motivated and hope to bring other good results for the team.”
Photo credit: ©Sigfrid Eggers