The UAE Team Emirates rider crossed the line in Verona in fifth place without a saddle.
It appeared that the seat clamp on his Colnago V3RS bike had snapped, causing his Prologo saddle to fall off on the run-in to Verona.
It's unclear where or how exactly he lost his saddle. It was still intact with 1500 metres to go but it appeared to have gone by the time he entered the home straight.
With 900 metres to go, Gaviria appeared to ease off the pedals, and he lost a few positions through the final roundabout with 700 metres to go. When Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) launched a long-range sprint, Gaviria was not with his lead-out men, Max Richeze and Sebastian Molano. He took the intiative and came round another rider before bursting past his lead-out men on the left-hand side of the road.
However, the distance of the sprint took its toll, and he was unable to live with stage winner Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubeka Assos), who took his slipstream for a brief moment before switching to Affini’s on the right and then going clear for victory.
Gaviria eased up in the final metres and appeared to tentatively sit back onto his seatpost, and he was passed by Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Davide Cimolai (Israel Start-Up Nation) in the closing metres.
Gaviria’s wait for a sixth Giro stage win goes on, Friday being his sixth top-10 stage finish at this year’s race.
Neither Gaviria nor UAE Team Emirates have commented publicly on what happened to his saddle.
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