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REGGIO EMILIA, Italy (VN) – Five years on from winning the 2017 Giro d’Italia stage into Reggio Emilia, UAE Team Emirates sprinter Fernando Gaviria thought he was set for a repeat success until he was denied in the very final meters by Team DSM’s Alberto Dainese.
The Colombian admitted that his second runner-up finish in this race had left him with mixed emotions. Primarily, he was disappointed, but he acknowledged that his performance in the final straight had confirmed that his form is very good.
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“Another second place wasn’t the result we were looking for, but even though I’ve got very good legs you’ve got to accept sometimes that others are stronger,” he said moments after crossing the finish line. “Could I do anything when the DSM rider came up alongside me? No.”
Gaviria explained that he had been told by his team that there was a tailwind blowing up the final straight and this had decided his tactic. “That’s why I went for it from a bit far out. But there was nothing I could do in the end. An excellent rider won. I think if he won a sprint by going that fast then he deserves to be applauded. So congratulations to him,” said the Colombian.
“It would have been nice to win here again five years on from my success here. I thought about that at the start, but that’s the way it is,” he continued. “Today I had to deal with the wind. I could feel it on my face. The team told me it was from behind, but, well, I felt it was coming head on. But maybe it was the speed in my legs that made it feel like the wind was coming head on,” he concluded.