Gaviria crashes out of Vuelta a San Juan

Colombian sprinter goes down 45km from stage finish, Quick-Step gets win with Richeze

Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) crashed out of the Vuelta a San Juan on Wednesday's stage 4 after touching wheels with the rider ahead of him and hitting the deck hard along with Ricardo Escuela (A.C.A. Virgen De Fatima) and Ruben Ramos (Argentina).

Despite losing Gaviria, Quick-Step Floors took the stage win in a bunch sprint with Max Richeze.

A team spokesman said Gaviria was generally OK but he was taken to a hospital to have his injuries checked, but the spokesman had no further details about his condition. Gaviria was seen on TV walking back to the team car after the crash. After the stage, Quick-Step Floors announced that Gaviria would be kept at hospital for further examination of his "multiple abrasions" and "deep wound on his knee".

Quick-Step was on the front when Gaviria crashed, and his teammates did not know he had been caught up in the melee for a brief moment, and they went to the front with Lotto Soudal to press the pace. But they quickly figured out one of their riders was missing from the front group.

"When the peloton had broken we started to push hard with team Lotto," Richeze said. “But when we looked behind we saw that Fernando wasn't there. In the crash, we heard nothing. We tried to communicate with him by the radio and he didn't answer."

Quick-Step eventually got the news and eased off the pressure, but the other teams sensed an opportunity for the stage win, with Movistar and Trek-Segafredo joining a bevy of South American teams going to the front to press the pace as the peloton split behind.

Race leader Filippo Ganna (UAE Team Emirates) was caught in the second group and shared the pace making with Bora-Hansgrohe trying to weld the two groups back together.

When race officials neutralized the stage at 25km because of a flooded section of the road, the two groups merged and went to the finish intact.

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