Gaviria returns to Colombia after San Juan abandon

Sprinter set to return to racing at Colombia Oro y Paz

Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) has returned to his home in Colombia after crashing out of the Vuelta a San Juan during stage 4. Gaviria suffered lots of road rash but escaped serious injury. 

The 23-year-old will now look to recover over the coming days before he competes at the inaugural Colombia Oro y Paz event in his native Colombia. The six-day race will begin on February 6.

Gaviria won two stages of last year’s Vuelta a San Juan and looked on track to match that with a commanding sprint victory on the opening day into Pocito. He had been a favourite for victory on stage 4 to Villa San Martin but the crash in the crosswinds put paid to his efforts. He was taken to hospital to assess the damage and doctors confirmed that he hadn’t broken any bones. Gaviria’s Quick-Step Floors teammate Max Richeze ensured the victory stayed within the team, but Gaviria’s race was done.

In a press release issued by his team, Gaviria said that he felt no ill effects from the incident but he will undergo some further examinations to ensure all is okay.

“I am feeling okay after the crash. As you saw, we were riding in the side wind and the pace was high, stretching out the peloton. In a split second, there was a movement in the line of the guys in front of me and my wheel got caught on the wrong side of my teammate. None of us could have done anything to prevent it,” Gaviria said.

“It’s sad to leave the Vuelta a San Juan because it’s a fantastic event and I was looking forward to racing it all the way to the end. Tonight [Thursday - ed], I will travel to Colombia, where I’ll have further examinations, which I hope to confirm that there’s no serious damage and try to prepare the best I can for Colombia Oro y Paz. It will be important to see how my body reacts to this crash, but I hope for a smooth recovery.”

The Vuelta a San Juan took a rest day following stage 4 and resumes on Friday with a 169.5km stage from San Martin to Alto Colorado. The race finishes on Sunday.

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