Adriano Malori has been transferred from a hospital in San Luis to a special clinic in the Argentinean capital of Buenos Aires in order to continue his recovery from a heavy crash on stage 5 of the Tour de San Luis.
The Movistar Team issued a statement Monday in which they explained the move and also sought to discredit recent reports that the crash had been triggered by a brain defect.
Malori was riding on the front of the bunch at the Tour de San Luis when he went over his handlebars at a reported 65km/h and triggered a 40-rider pile-up. Having suffered head injuries and a broken collarbone, he was taken to hospital, where he was placed in an induced coma.
Three days later, on Monday, he was flown to the Alexander Fleming Institute, a Buenos Aires clinic specialising in head trauma, in order to undergo further medical examinations using techniques and equipment that weren’t available in the San Luis unit.
“The patient Adriano Malori on this day showed favourable progress,” read a medical update from the San Luis health centre on Monday.
“At the request of the doctors it was decided he would be moved to Buenos Aires to continue treatment in a private clinic. This was carried out by plane at 17:00 without complication.”
Movistar’s doctor Jesús Hoyos is there with Malori at all times and is helping the practice’s medical staff to coordinate the Italian’s treatment, while Malori’s girlfriend, Elisa, flew out to join him on Monday.
In their statement issued on Tuesday, the Movistar Team appeared to hit back at recent reports concerning Malori’s health and the nature of the crash.
Spanish newspaper Marca claimed that Malori’s head trauma was not caused by the crash but was in fact the cause of it. They reported that doctors were convinced that a brain abnormality, potentially an aneurism, caused the accident and even claimed that both the doctors and the Movistar team were concealing the severity of the situation.
The Movistar statement set out three points with the aim of "clarifying information that has appeared in different media outlets", starting with the cause of the crash.
“The riders who witnessed the accident up close have corroborated the way in which it came about: Adriano Malori hit a pothole, which knocked him off balance and caused him to hit the ground. This was, without doubt, the cause of the accident.
“Moments after the accident, and after being admitted to hospital, accompanied by the team’s medical staff, the rider was induced into a coma in order to allow the patient’s wounds to heal in a controlled manner. As such, the coma was in no way a direct consequence of the trauma."
The statement also hit back at suggestions that the team was concealing the true severity of the situation.
"Movistar Team has always provided updates on the physical state of its cyclists who, as in the case of Adriano Malori, are victims of an accident in or out of competition. The information is given with the utmost spirit of transparency and by means of periodic updates, despite the limitations occasionally imposed by the respect owed to the privacy of the affected rider and that of his family.
"Never has the Movistar Team sought to conceal the severity of a rider’s physical state, which cannot nor should not be confused with the most scrupulous rigor in our communications, which are always based on verified medical information."