Despite a good final stage, Fernando Gaviria finished fourth in the men’s omnium behind Italy’s winner Elia Viviani, Mark Cavendish from Great Britain and Dane Lasse Hansen.
The 21-year-old sprinter from Antioquía is the current World Champion and came to the Olympics as one of the favourites for a gold medal in the omnium, but his form was ultimately no quite good enough to secure a medal across the discipline’s six events. Gaviria started well, finishing fifth in the scratch race, but tenth place in the individual pursuit and third in the elimination race – both events he won at the World Championship earlier this year – saw him end the first day ranked fifth overall.Day 2 of the omnium didn’t start much better for Gaviria with the fourth place in the time trial, followed by a disappointing tenth place in the flying lap. By that point he had dropped down to seventh ahead and looked to be out of contention for a podium finish.
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Elia Viviani started the final event with a 38-point advantage over Gaviria while Mark Cavendish was 22 points ahead in second place. However, Gaviria escaped the pack and was on his way to taking a lap advantage over his rivals when Cavendish swerved sharply, causing a crash in which Viviani himself was involved. The Italian quickly made his way back into the pack and Cavendish escaped with a warning – but it also meant that Gaviria was back in the hunt for the medals.
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The race looked open, but the extra lap had taken its toll and Viviani, Cavendish and Hansen from Denmark kept scoring points. With a final effort in the last eight laps, Gaviria attempted to close the gap on the leaders – but it wasn’t enough and he had to settle for the fourth place.
Gaviria was clear in his assessment of his performance, saying “I failed, I just wasn’t good enough – not today nor yesterday.” The team Etixx-QuickStep sprinter also made the announcement that his focus is now going to be solely road cycling.
By Freek Huigen