The Colombian racer for the UAE team had to abandon the Giro d’Italia just over one hour into stage 7 of the race.
Gaviria was forced to take this decision as he couldn’t endure any longer pain in his left knee. He will leave the Giro d’Italia with just one stage victory, which he was handed following his rival Elia Viviani’s relegation due to dangerous sprinting.
— @UAE-TeamEmirates (@TeamUAEAbuDhabi) May 17, 2019
The team said on Twitter: “After a strong first week, Fernando Gaviria has been forced to quit the race due to pain in his left knee which he’s had for the last few days.”
UAE Team Emirates teammate Valerio Conti is currently on top of the race in Italy after finishing second in stage 6.
Gaviria’s abandon was announced just one hour into the race which started in Vasto with his average speed being 50km/h at the time of the stop.
— Fernando Gaviria (@FndoGaviria) May 16, 2019
The Colombian had won four stages and the ciclamino points jersey in 2017 and was sitting second in the competition this year, 28 points behind the competition leader Pascal Ackermann of Bora-Hansgrohe.
Gaviria is the second rider from the UAE Team Emirates to leave the race in the opening week after the team decided to suspend Juan Sebastian Molano following some ‘unusual physiological results’ in one of the team’s internal tests.
In addition, UAE Team Emirates were also hit by the news that their rider Kristijan Durasek had been linked with the Operation Aderlass blood doping scandal.
— Giro d'Italia (@giroditalia) May 17, 2019
The Team said: “The team hopes that Durasek can prove he was not involved in the affair. Should it be proven otherwise, he will be terminated immediately.”
That leaves just five riders to help Conti to look after the maglia rosa, who was forced to try and chase down some of the early attacks on stage 7.