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"It would be a dream to ride alongside Boonen for the last race of his career, even though I know it will not be easy to get a spot in the team for that day.”

Photo: ANSI / PERI - ZENNARO

DECEUNINCK - QUICK-STEP

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FERNANDO GAVIRIA

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PARIS - ROUBAIX

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28.12.2016 @ 17:43 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Fernando Gaviria has just finished his first year in the jersey of Etixx - Quick Step after starting his professional career in a Colombian team.The result: seven victories including a Paris-Tours win, a stage victory at Tirreno-Adriatico, two stages at the Tour of Poland. He also took a sixth place in Gent-Wevelgem and a tenth place in Dwars door Vlaanderen shortly after a big disappointment in Milan -San Remo where he crashed in the last few hundred metres after he had done all the work to stay with the best and emerged as one of the serious contenders for victory. 

 

In 2017, Quick Step has already announced that Gaviria will participate in the Giro, but the dream of the Colombian is to participate in Paris-Roubaix. He said it already last year and he reaffirms it this year as he is eager to seize the last chance to ride with the ‘Lion of Flanders’, Tom Boonen, who will retire after the race.

 

"Paris-Roubaix is my favorite race. I have watched it so much on TV. Observing how riders can overcome obstacles and suffer for six or seven hours is a real source of inspiration for me. I hope that I can one day test myself there," said Gaviria on his team blog in January 2016. In the same blog, he stated how he had met Tom Boonen: "I finally had the opportunity to meet Tom Boonen, a legend that has inspired me for so many years.”

 

But in 2017, it will be Tom Boonen's last Paris-Roubaix, an opportunity that Gaviria doesn’t want to miss.

 

“To win Paris-Roubaix would be a dream. It's the race that I like most," he said in a statement from the Tour de San Juan which he will do in January. "It would be a dream to ride alongside Boonen for the last race of his career, even though I know it will not be easy to get a spot in the team for that day.”

 

In the same interview, Gaviria who is double World Champion in the Omnium (2015 and 2016) says that he will be riding much less on the track this year but it is not a definite farewell. What inspired him to continue his career on the track in 2016 when he had his first year in the World Tour, was the prospect of the Rio Olympics but he only finished fourth in the race won by Elia Viviani. 

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