First victory of the season:
Barbier avoids a crash with 3 kilometers to go.
Israel SUN teammates bring him back to the front,
to finally beat sprinters like Sagan and Gaviria in the sprint.
“I worked so hard for this. All winter I have been training with my brother in and around Paris, whatever weather, we were always out. And then this victory. I am so happy”, Barbier says right after he wins stage 1 in the Vuelta a San Juan.
In a relatively flat stage, he beats big sprinters like Peter Sagan, Fernando Gaviria and José Álvaro Hodeg at the finish line, also taking the lead in the general classification.
It is the first win of the 2020-season for Israel Start-Up Nation, competing on WorldTour-level in 2020. Also, it felt like revenge for Barbier Rudy personally, as he was disappointed with his results in San Juan last season.
“I felt good today”, Barbier says, who really wanted to prove himself. “But with three kilometers to go, there was a big crash. I could avoid it, however, I had to brake hard. I called my teammates via the radio to wait for me and they brought me back to the front so I could compete in the sprint.”
For Israel Start-Up Nation, only Itamar Einhorn was involved in the crash. After the first checks, he seems to be fine.
Sportive Director Lionel Marie was also very happy with Barbier’s performance. “I hope he now understands big efforts always pay off. He has the talent and he was so focused towards this race. Now we all see: ‘Bang bang’ and he wins. What a victory for Israel Start-Up Nation.”
Barbier: “This was a true team effort. And it is the first victory with our new name!”
In stage two Israel Start-Up Nation will try to defend the leader’s jersey and put the sprint train in position for the final once again.
Video by: Sjors Beukeboom
Photos: Bettini Photo