Five days after he dramatically crashed out of Il Lombardia, Simone Petilli has finally been able to leave hospital and head home. The UAE Team Emirates rider has been in hospital in Varese since last Saturday as doctors have decided on the best method of treating his extensive injuries.
Petilli was left with fractures to his neck and D1 vertebra, a broken shoulder blade and collarbone, concussion, and a litany of scratches and bruising after crashing on the descent of the Sormano during Il Lombardia.
Doctors had been contemplating operating on Petilli to secure his collarbone fracture, but they have decided against that. There will be no off-season holidays for Petilli as he rests up and works with a specialist on his recovery.
"It's getting better and better. They have locked my neck with a guard, and I am just missing the collarbone operation, for which recovery time should not be long, so I just need to have a little patience,” Petilli told Tuttobici.
“I'm going to see an expert and understand how best to proceed. I'll have a bit of enforced rest rather than the classic end-of-season holiday, but I'm not making a drama out of it. The important thing is that I haven't got serious injuries. There will be other opportunities for holidays in the coming years. For now the priority is to recover from this accident.”
Three other riders crashed on the same corner as Petilli, with Laurens De Plus (Quick-Step Floors), Jan Bakelants (AG2R La Mondiale) and Daniel Martinez (Wilier Triestina) all going over the guardrail on the outside of the corner. Martinez escaped with very few injuries and is currently racing at the Tour of Turkey. De Plus was initially cleared of serious injury but he was eventually diagnosed with a fractured kneecap when he went to hospital at home in Belgium. He is expected to be off the bike for a month as he recovers.
Bakelants remains in hospital after the crash. He was transferred from Como to a hospital in Leuven on Thursday afternoon and is expected to have surgery on Friday to stabilise the fractured vertebrae he suffered.
I wanted to thank everyone for the messages of support! My conditions improves more and more, in 2018 I'll be back stronger than before! pic.twitter.com/GnzmPjDNUE— Simone Petilli (@SimonePetilli) October 12, 2017