Promising young Italian rider Letizia Paternoster avoided any broken bones in her fall during the Madison at the UCI Track World Cup in Berlin last weekend, but the 19-year-old who signed with the new Trek-Segafredo women's road team for 2019 injured her ribs and will likely miss the World Cup in London December 14-16.
Paternoster and Madison partner Rachele Barbieri were competing in Berlin when Paternoster fell hard with 54 laps remaining and was unable to finish the race. She was taken to hospital for X-rays, which revealed no fractures and only bruising to several ribs. Doctors said the pain should should pass in six to eight weeks. Paternoster was able to leave the hospital that night and return to the team hotel.
The former Junior World Champion on the track scored the country's first gold medal in the Madison in January alongside Maria Giulia Confalonieri at the World Cup in Minsk, Belarus. So far this track season, she has taken bronze in the Omnium at the UEC Elite European Championships in August and was on track for a successful 2018-19 World Cup campaign. In October, during the World Cup opener in France, she took second to Kirsten Wild (Netherlands) in the Omnium, was sixth in the Madison with Barbieri and was third in the Team Pursuit with Italy.
Paternoster skipped the second World Cup in Canada, but she came back in Berlin with a silver in the Omnium behind Katie Archibald (Great Britain) before the Madison crash knocked her out of competition. Now the London World Cup next week appears to be in doubt as well. The next World Cup after London takes place January 18-20 in New Zealand, with the final round set for Hong Kong January 25-27. The UCI Track World Championships will be in Pruszkow, Poland, February 27 through March 3.
Paternoster has won titles in numerous disciplines, including Individual and Team Pursuits, Omnium, Madison, Elimination, Scratch, and Points Race. In 2017, she also won both the road and time trial titles at the Italian national championships and went on to claim the bronze medal in the junior road race at the World Championships in Bergen, Norway.
As a member of the Astana Women's Team in 2018, she had an strong season with an overall win at Festival Elsy Jacobs and top 10 performances at Gent-Wevelgem and Postnord West Sweden Vargarda, and she won GP della Liberazione Pink.
Paternoster previously said she will continue to combine both road and track racing during the 2019 season at Trek-Segafredo, with a goal of competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
"I am also happy that Trek will allow me to keep competing on the track, in addition to the road calendar, with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in mind," she said in a statement released by Trek when the team announced her signing. "A new exciting phase of my career is starting now, and I look forward to giving the best of me. I am grateful for the trust [Trek-Segafredo] has put in me, and I am determined to reward them by living up to the expectations and bringing valuable results to the team."