Gaviria had been one of the favourites for the opening Monument of the 2018 season, but will now be forced to watch the race on television after hitting the deck with 7.8km to go on the Tirreno-Adriatico stage to Fano.
The crash appeared to be caused by a momentary lapse of concentration on the part of the Colombian sprinter, as he touched the back wheel of lead-out man Maximiliano Richeze, hitting the deck hard and bringing down a large number of other riders.
Gaviria remounted his bike and completed the stage more than four minutes behind stage winner Marcel Kittel, but looked in some pain as he completed the final few kilometres with barely any material left on the left-side of his bib shorts.
The Quick-Step Floors sprinter was x-rayed by race medics after completing the stage, where he was diagnosed with a fracture to his left hand.
“Gaviria has got a displaced fracture of his first metacarpal of his left hand,” a race doctor told assembled media after the stage.
“He will need surgery to repair the fracture and fix it in place. One part of the bone has moved over another part. It needs to be put back in place.
“To make a full recovered he will need at least four weeks. It will be difficult for him to ride before that – the fracture needs time to stabilise.”
Gaviria’s injury means he now looks certain to miss Milan-San Remo, where he had been expected to challenge for the victory. He had also been scheduled to ride a full cobbled Classics campaign, including the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.
However with the last of the cobbled races, Paris-Roubaix, coming in just under four weeks time, Gaviria’s Classics challenge may have to wait another year.