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Giro d'Italia

Mechanical issue undermines Fernando Gaviria in Giro d’Italia sprint

Colombian ace second in bunch sprint after clearing key climb only to have a derailleur issue at the line.

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MESSINA, Italy (VN) — Fernando Gaviria saw a mechanical issue undermine his hopes for a stage victory Wednesday at the Giro d’Italia.

The Colombian ace kicked to second, his best grand tour result since last year’s Giro, but could not shift into his lowest gear in the late, decisive moments of the race.

Gaviria pounded his handlebars in anger as he crossed the line.

“I had problems with my derailleur in the end and I couldn’t get in the gear I needed,” Gaviria said. “It was a hectic final and I think someone’s wheel may have touched me from behind. It’s really frustrating and I could not hide it on the line but these are things that can happen in races.”

Also read: Gaviria ‘content’ with third after long string up COVID cases

Gaviria could only look on in frustration as Démare lifted his hands in celebration.

“Did it cost me the victory? I don’t know, because Démare was also very strong today,” he said.

Third in Sunday’s stage, Gaviria is clearly back in good form. After fending off three infections of the coronavirus, the Colombian is intent on winning a stage before this Giro is over.

“The main thing is the legs are good and we’re really motivated and focused for another chance tomorrow. I felt really good today annd I was looked after so well for the whole stage.”

Thursday’s stage along the Italian coast is expected to see another bunch sprint.