UAE Team Emirates questions Fernando Gaviria’s ‘focus and motivation’ with sprinter set to leave

No comment on links that Jay Vine could join from Alpecin-Deceuninck.

Photo: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images

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Fernando Gaviria is set to leave UAE Team Emirates at the end of the season after the team declined to extend the Colombian’s contract.

Rumors of a move to Movistar have been circulating for weeks, but the sprinter will leave his current team with question marks from team brass over his commitment and level of motivation following a disappointing three years on the team.

Team manager Joxean Fernández Matxin confirmed to VeloNews that Gaviria would be moving on and explained that while the rider had unquestionable levels of talent, the application and hard work required at the top level of the sport was not always there.

“There’s no continuation with us. It’s not perfect but in my opinion, Gaviria is 12 out of 10 level. He’s a super, super talent. For me, he’s one of the best sprinters in the world but the problem for me is that his work level is at a five or six. He arrives at races at a level of eight but a lot of riders are at nine or ten, 11 or 12 with super professional training,” Fernández Matxin told VeloNews.

The 28-year-old Colombian joined Mauro Gianetti’s team in 2019 on the back of a huge season in 2018 that saw him win two stages in the Tour de France and wear the maillot jaune.

The following year he won a stage in the Giro d’Italia, but the sprinter hasn’t won a grand tour stage since then. With three cases of COVID-19 in the last two and a half seasons, there are few results to speak of.

Fernández Matxin worked with Gaviria at Quick-Step during the best years of the rider’s career to date. He was seen as one of the best sprinters around and spent three and half years leading the line for Patrick Lefevere’s team.

In the last two years, however, he has won just one race, a stage in the Tour of Oman.

“Gaviria needs to have a change of mentality, a change of motivation to stimulate the levels that he has. I know him really well from working together at Quick-Step, and I helped to achieve the contract at UAE but in my opinion he needs a change to his mentality, his focus, and his motivation for new goals,” Fernández Matxin said.

‘No comment’ on Jay Vine transfer rumors

While one rider leaves the UAE Team Emirates stable another could be on his way with speculation mounting that Jay Vine could break his contract at Alpecin and make the leap to Tadej Pogačar’s squad.

UAE Team Emirates has been busy in the transfer market, signing Adam Yates from Ineos Grenadiers, Tim Wellens from Lotto Soudal, Domen Novak from Bahrain Victorious and Felix Großschartner from Bora-Hansgrohe.

Vine, 26, had a breakout Vuelta a España, winning two stages in three days. When asked about the possibility of signing the Australian, Fernández Matxin said:

“I can’t answer. At this moment there’s no communication from the team. I have a list of riders for the next training camp and at this moment he’s not on this list.”

VeloNews will have an extensive interview with Fernández Matxin later this week.

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