Injury updates: Van Garderen back, Gaviria to miss classics

American Tejay van Garderen will return to competition next week at the Volta a Catalunya, while Fernando Gaviria is out for a month.

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Tejay van Garderen returns to competition next week while Fernando Gaviria will miss the remainder of the classics after undergoing surgery.

BMC Racing’s van Garderen crashed out of the first stage at Paris-Nice, while Quick-Step Floors’s Gaviria will miss Milano-Sanremo and planned starts at the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix following his crash at Tirreno-Adriatico.

Gaviria will return to Colombia for recovery following surgery Wednesday afternoon in Belgium to repair a spiral fracture in his first metacarpal in his left hand. Quick-Step confirmed Gaviria will miss the remainder of the spring classics, saying he could return to racing in about a month.

That’s a big blow for Gaviria, who had big ambitions for the spring classics in 2018.

Van Garderen, meanwhile, returns to competition at the Volta a Catalunya, where he’s won two stages over the past few editions.

“I am feeling good on the bike. I was a little worried after my crash in Paris-Nice, as you never know how hitting your head is going to affect performance,” van Garderen said. Catalunya “has been a race that has brought me lots of success in the past and I hope to keep that trend going.”

Van Garderen scored his first European pro win in the 2014 edition, taking the flowers at the stage to Vallter 2000. In 2015, he won a stage to La Molina. This year’s course returns to both summits.

The Volta Ciclista a Catalunya is Spain’s oldest running stage race and draws a top field this year. Other starters include Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott), Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac), Fabio Aru (UAE-Emirates), and Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic).

The 98th edition of the Volta starts next Monday and ends March 25 in Barcelona.

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