The 36-year-old netted a historic result for Argentina at the event held in Peru.
Two weeks after completing the Tour de France, where he played an important part in the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team that scored a hat-trick of stage victories, Maximiliano Richeze hit the spotlight at the Pan American Games, bringing Argentina its first road race gold medal in six decades in a truly spectacular and memorable fashion.
Animated by a nine-man group, the 177km-long race hosted by the Circuito de Playas de Costa Verde witnessed loads of action and full gas racing from the start, with the peloton chasing hard the nine escapees who managed to put several minutes between them and the bunch, and bringing them back before another group, of six men, snapped the elastic. At one point, it looked like they would fight for victory, but Max mounted a stunning recovery, attacking on the final lap and erasing by himself a 1:30 deficit which looked insurmountable.
After making the catch at the sharp end of the event, Richeze outsprinted his opponents, claiming the win ahead of Ignacio de Jesus Prado (Mexico) and Bryan Gomez (Colombia) and adding it to the National Championships won earlier this season, in Santiago del Ester.
“I am happy for this triumph and the medal brought for Argentina. It was difficult after a hard Tour de France, but I was very motivated, the team did a great job, and I managed to finish it off. It wasn’t easy today, but this only makes the win even more special. I want to dedicate this victory to my wife, my daughter, my family, and my friends”, said Max, the third Argentinean rider in history to take home the gold medal at the Pan American Games, after Oscar Muleiro (1951) and Ricardo Senn (1959).
Photo credit: ©PanamSports