Fernando Gaviria abandons Giro d’Italia 2019

The Colombian leaves with a single stage win handed to him thanks to a relegation

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Fernando Gaviria has abandoned the Giro d’Italia on stage seven.

The Colombian sprint star leaves the race with a single stage victory, handed to him after rival Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) was relegated for dangerous sprinting.

His UAE Team Emirates outfit said Gaviria had been suffering with pain in his knee, which mean he couldn’t continue.

The team said on Twitter: “After a strong first week, Fernando Gaviria has been forced to quit the race due to pain in his left knee which he’s had for the last few days.”

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UAE have had a mixed opening week at the Giro d’Italia, starting with a bittersweet win for Gaviria on stage three.

Gaviria finished second at the line but was handed victory after the race jury ruled Viviani had cut across Trek-Segafredo’s Matteo Moschetti in the sprint, later saying “in my view Viviani is the winner.”

This was followed by the shock news that Juan Sebastian Molano had been pulled from the race ahead of stage four due to “unusual physiological results” found during internal testing.

The Colombian has been suspended by the team while the results are investigated.

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In another change of fortune, UAE Team Emirates moved into the pink jersey as Valerio Conti was given enough space in the breakaway to take the lead from Jumbo-Visma’s Primož Roglič on stage six.

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Amidst the drama in the Giro d’Italia, UAE Team Emirates were also hit by the news that their rider Kristijan Durasek had been linked with the Operation Aderlass blood doping scandal.

Durasek was pulled from the Tour of California and provisionally suspended by the UCI after the governing body was passed information by Austrian authorities.

UAE Team Emirates said: “The team hopes that Durasek can prove he was not involved in the affair. Should it be proven otherwise, he will be terminated immediately.”

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.