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First Giro d'Italia sprint nearly ends in disaster for Gaviria

Fernando Gaviria finishes stage 2 of the Giro d'Italia in a disappointing 24th with teammate Max Richeze
Fernando Gaviria finishes stage 2 of the Giro d'Italia in a disappointing 24th with teammate Max Richeze (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Sunday's second stage of the Giro d'Italia was the first bunch sprint of the race and Fernando Gaviria was among of the favourites to win in Novara. However, the stage almost ended in disaster for the UAE Team Emirates leader.

As Gaviria accelerated along the barriers while passing Elia Viviani and Giacomo Nizzolo, teammate Juan Sebastián Molano  closed the door on him. Gaviria used his bike skills to narrowly avoided crashing, sliding along the barrier and losing any chance of a result in the sprint. 

"I hit the barriers but thankfully I stayed upright," Gaviria said afterwards. "It wasn't the finish I wanted but it's something that can happen in a sprint."

"Well analyze with the team what happened and try to improve tomorrow." 

After his near-crash, the Colombian drifted back to a 24th place finish behind stage winner Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix), a disappointing result for the five-time Giro d'Italia stage winner, who was in a prime position before the clash.

However, the winner of the points classification in 2017 took some good indications from his effort at the day's first intermediate sprint where he claimed six points behind the two remaining breakaway riders, and ahead of rivals Elia Viviani (Cofidis) and Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe).

"The legs are good which is the main thing. There are plenty more chances to come," he said.

"The team has faith in me and so tomorrow could be a chance to be a little luckier. I can't wait."

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Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. As former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks.