Enrico Gasparotto (Astana) was hit by a truck while out training ahead of this weekend’s Amstel Gold Race but has escaped serious injury.
The defending champion was motor pacing around with Astana Pro Team directeur sportif Stefano Zanini when a delivery truck pulled out of a driveway unexpectedly to turn left across the road. Zanini was able to stop the scooter but Gasparotto wasn’t able to avoid a collision with the truck and then the pavement.
The rider luckily escaped serious injury and will still look to start Amstel this weekend. After the collision, despite bruises, Gasparotto was able to carry on training, completing a four hour rider. He wasn’t taken to hospital.
"It was impossible to brake. We were going 45 maybe 50k on a little bit of a descent, and it was impossible not to crash. I was very, very lucky that there was no real damage. My body is a little bit hurt, and my bike was not so good. I have a little bit of pain right now, but today is Thursday, and I can go to the osteopath tonight and everything should be good by Sunday," Gasparotto said in a press release.
"For me this is the most important week of the year, and I want to have good races in the Ardennes, so I continued my training session and that was all I could do. I yelled at the driver that this is my job, I don't go out on the bike just for fun, and he has no idea the sacrifices we make to be professionals. But Zaza is a big man and he was really angry, and I really thought he was going to hit him,” he added.
Zanini said he was angry at the driver, but happy that Gasparotto was apparently unhurt.
"The crash happened in the first hour of training, and we stopped to yell at the driver for about 20 minutes. But Gaspa got back on his bike and rode at the same level for the rest of the training session," Zanini said.