By Gregor Brown
Italian cycling legend Francesco Moser had a scare while skiing on Christmas day. The 56-year-old past winner of the World Championships, Paris-Roubaix and Giro d'Italia, among other races, was involved a nasty crash on the slopes of Rio Pusteria (Alto Adige), Italy. The incident resulted in bruises and cuts, but no fractures.
"Luckily there was nothing broken," said Moser to La Gazzetta dello Sport from his home in Gardolo di Mezzo (Trento). "There was a lot of fear. I was practically at the bottom of the hillside when I screamed out with my son Ignazio."
The Christmas incident reminded many of Mario Cipollini's crash two year's ago that resulted in fractured kneecap, but luckily it was not so serious for the three-time winner of Roubaix. "The skis went out and I slid for some twenty metres, slamming my chest against snow chunks some forty centimetres high. The speed was somewhat contained, and the bangs left scrapes on my ribs and left hand. However, the medical exam did not reveal any fractures even if the pain is there."
Moser will pass the end of they year at home with his family and dog Freddy. "They waited for me for lunch, and I joined them before being transferred to the hospital in Bressanone where I was under observation by all of the medics. Thanks to Doctor Hoffer and his staff for the care and attention."
He recalled his last serious incident, which occurred during his professional racing career. "In Marilleva I was contender in off-the-slopes skiing, and I ended up running into a tree. Also that instance ended well.