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by Shane Stokes
September 11, 2015
Less than 24 hours after taking the biggest result of his career, the young sprinter Fernando Gaviria is out of the Aviva Tour of Britain.
The 21 year old Colombian was a non-starter on stage five of the Aviva Tour of Britain, a development that his team blames on pre-patellar friction syndrome in his right knee.
“This problem can come up either after a trauma like a fall, or from overuse, as in Fernando’s case,” stated the team doctor Yvan Vanmol in a statement.
“Fernando is a young rider who is measuring himself against certain distances, and with a professional pace for the first time. This is why, as a precautionary measure, we decided to not let him start and give him time to recuperate 100 percent.”
Gaviria made a big name for himself at this year’s Tour de San Luis when he beat Cavendish in two separate sprint finishes. Cavendish’s Etixx – Quick-Step team had already been considering bringing him on board and this plus subsequent lab testing confirmed its interest.
It inked a deal with him to turn pro with the team in 2016, but also decided to give him a stagiaire slot towards the end of this season.
Last month he picked up two stage wins in Czech Cycling Tour, and then went on to the Tour of Britain.
He stated on Wednesday that he originally planned on leading out Cavendish but when the latter was boxed in inside the final kilometre, he improvised and went for the result himself.
He came up against Andre Griepel, the rider who was the dominant sprinter in the Tour de France with four stage wins, and beat the Lotto Soudal rider.
Departing the race is unexpected, particularly in light of his success. His team said that a decision will be made soon about the next steps.
“In the next few days we will evaluate if and when Fernando will be able to race from here to the end of the season, without any risk,” stated Vanmol.
Gaviria is seen by some as possible replacement for Mark Cavendish if the latter leaves the team. He is rumoured to be moving on, with the MTN Qhubeka team one of those in the running.