• Fernando Gaviria lighting it up at the 2016 Tour of Poland. (Getty)Source: Getty
Fernando Gaviria is the rarest of breeds in Colombian cycling, a top class sprinter, and he will hope to prove the Giro d'Italia is not just for compatriots like Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott), during his Grand Tour debut at the 100th edition of the Italian race.
Cycling Central

Quick-Step Floors
23 Dec 2016 - 12:01 PM 

The versatile 22-year-old neo-pro from La Ceja has already notched up a few competitive wins against sprinters like Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) while continuing to excel on the track as Omnium world champion.

His recent road wins came at the Tour de San Luis, Tour de Provence, Tirreno-Adriatico, Tour de Pologne, GP Impanis-Van Petegem and Paris-Tours. Now he will continue his progression with a taste of three-week racing next spring.

“I am already looking forward to it,” Gaviria said. “I’m aware I still have plenty of things to learn, but I’m motivated for the Giro d’Italia. I want to thank the team for putting their faith in me and for giving me this chance.

“At the moment, I don’t want to think too much about it, as my focus is on the first races of the season, but when the time will come, I’ll do all that I can to be prepared for this challenge.”

Chaves chooses Giro over Tour in 2017
After surveying the course profiles of the 2017 Giro d'Italia and Tour de France Orica-BikeExchange Colombian star Esteban Chaves has opted to again race the former.

The 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia (5-28 May) starts on the island of Sardinia and finishes in Milan three weeks later.

“He deserves to ride a Grand Tour after the solid season he’s had, during which he proved how strong he is, but at the same time I want to be clear that we won’t put any pressure on Fernando, who’ll rely on some experienced riders to guide him through”, sporting director Davide Bramati said.

“Of course, if a chance will come, he will try to grab it, as he’s shown on several occasions last year that he can go head-to-head with some of the best sprinters in the world and defeat them. But, as I’ve said, we will take each step at a time and first see how he copes with the difficulties of the race before laying out any goals.”