Vincenzo Nibali has won what he describes as a “race against time” to recover from a broken wrist sustained when a driver knocked him off his bike last month and will ride the Giro d’Italia, which starts in Turin on Saturday – but he says it is too soon to decide whether he can target the overall victory.
In press release, his Trek-Segafredo gteam said that the 36 year old, twice a winner of the maglia rosa, had been given the all-clear by its medical staff following a check-up this morning.
Following the crash near Lugano, Switzerland on 14 April, Nibali had a metal plate and 11 screws inserted in his right wrist.
Team doctor Emilio Magni said: “The surgeon who operated on Vincenzo, Dr Tami, first performed X-rays on the wrist, which showed that the plate was well positioned and there were no dislocations.
“It means that the wrist has responded well to the stresses created during the last week of intense training.
“The following check-up has confirmed the good recovery of functionality and articulation, allowing Dr Tami to give his approval to Vincenzo's return to racing. Everything went in the best way."
Nibali said: “It was a race against time and I'm very happy that I’ve won it. Since the day of the crash, April 14, I've done nothing but think about recovering in order to be at the Giro.
“I don't have the top condition, which I had hoped to achieve without the crash, and I'll also need a lot of caution pedalling in the peloton.
“But now, finally, I can only think about the competition that, now more than ever, will be to experience day by day.
“I want to say it clearly: it’s useless and impossible to say if I’ll target the general classification or I'll aim for stage wins. I want to try to leave a mark on the Giro, but I'll only understand how to do it along the way.”
Nibali will be one of three co-leaders of the team at the Italian Grand Tour, the others being Giulio Ciccone and Bauke Mollema, in line with plans already drawn up before his crash.
Trek-Segafredo general manager Luca Guercilena said “We're very happy to have Vincenzo at the start and, above all, we’re excited to have the trio of captains we are hoping will race the Giro as protagonists. Their technical characteristics and their team play will be the key to cultivate our ambitions.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.