Fresh talent and old hands shine around the world

As the road season gathers momentum, established and emerging fizik riders are finding superb early season performances around the globe – here are the brief highlights from the weekend.


With exciting ‘home’ riders and support from their European team-mates, the Tour Colombia provided a thrilling spectacle. It culminated in a Colombian 1-2 thanks to a solo final mountain stage win for Movistar Team’s Nairo Quintana eight seconds up the road from Team Sky’s Ivan Sosa. The 21-year-old missed out on GC victory by just 4 seconds but won the mountains classification and ignited the crowds alongside his 22-year-old team-mate Egan Bernal.


In Spain, at the Vuelta Ciclista a la Región de Murcia Costa Cálida, it was a smiling Alejandro Valverde who took to the second step of the podium both for the second stage and for the Overall. The 38-year-old World Champion broke away from the lead group with 15km to go on the Vuelta Murcia’s second and final stage, along with his 35-year-old compatriot Luis Leon Sanchez. El Bala went solo from the top of the final climb but was reeled in by his friend and rival – the old adversaries embracing after crossing the finish line.


The four-stage Tour de La Provence was a happy hunting ground for both the most experienced hands, and the young riders. Team Sky’s new 22-year-old Italian signing Filippo Ganna used his track experience to take the opening time trial – before handing over to Movistar Team’s Spanish new recruit Eduard Prades who won Stage 2’s sprint from AG2R-La Mondial’s Tony Gallopin.

Stage 3 went to the 36-year-old Belgian former World Champion Philippe Gilbert, outsprinting the group on France’s famous Paul Ricard motor racing circuit. And on the fourth and final stage in Aix-en-Provence it was Gallopin who wrote his own headlines: earning a one-second bonus on the first intermediate sprint meant that his Stage 1 TT effort was enough to claim a GC podium by just 13 hundredths of a second, and second in the Points competition.