Tirreno-Adriatico: Richeze places third in Fano
Fernando Gaviria is taken out of contention after crashing in the closing kilometers of stage 6.
Quick-Step Floors played it perfectly on the penultimate day of Tirreno-Adriatico, chasing the breakaway with the help of a fantastic Philippe Gilbert, who put in some mammoth turns at the front of the peloton in order to reel in the four escapees before it came down to crunch time in Fano, a town which six years ago hosted a stage at the Giro d'Italia.
Inside the final 20 kilometers, the 2012 World Champion again took the front, as Quick-Step Floors amassed the entire team in the upper part of the bunch for Fernando Gaviria, who was hunting his third career victory at Tirreno-Adriatico. Unfortunately, with seven kilometers to go, the Colombian crashed, forcing the team to change to plan B, Maximiliano Richeze.
Bob Jungels was the one to stretch out the pack under the flamme rouge, before Czech Champion Zdenek Stybar provided lead-out duties for the Argentinean, who opened his sprint with 200 meters to go. Richeze – a stage winner this season at Vuelta a San Juan – put in a solid sprint, concluding the stage third, behind Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) and Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe), for Quick-Step Floors' 29th top-3 finish of the season.
A few minutes later, Fernando Gaviria arrived at the finish and immediately visited the X-ray truck, where investigations revealed a spiral fracture of metacarpal 1 on the left hand, which requires surgery that will be performed on Tuesday, in Belgium, at the AZ Herentals Hospital. The time of the recovery will be known after tomorrow's intervention.
"I'm devastated to miss Milano-Sanremo! I was in very good form and was looking forward to Saturday's race. I'm also sorry for my teammates, because they did a great job today and I wanted to repay them with a victory. But I must take things as they are now and just hope to have a fast recovery", said Fernando Gaviria, fifth at last year's edition of "La Primavera."
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images