Filippo Pozzato’s difficult season and his hopes of securing a place in the Italian national team for the road world championships have taken another blow after the Katusha rider slipped on the stairs at home, needing eight stitches in a head wound.
The Italian classics rider was also diagnosed with slight concussion but considered himself lucky not to be more seriously injured.
“If we want to see the bright side of this accident, I have to admit that, once again, I was lucky,” he said in a statement from the Katusha team.
“I was going downstairs, I slipped and I hit my head badly and also my back: when I saw all the blood I’d lost, I got really scared. Now I hope to recover as soon as possible.”
Pozzato has been struggling all season after bad luck and illness affected his spring classics campaign. He then crashed out of the Tour of Belgium, fracturing his wrist and collarbone. A war of words with Katusha boss Andrei Tchmil has left Pozzato marginalised at Katusha and keen to move to a new team for 2012. He has held talks with Lampre-ISD, Geox-TMC and Farnese Vini but has yet to confirm his future team.
The Italian had been overlooked for a place in the Katusha team for the Vuelta a España and is struggling to accumulate enough race days so that he can be fit enough for the world championships and prove to Italian coach Paolo Bettini that he deserves a place in the nine-man team.
He was due to ride the Trittico Lombardo (August 16-17-19), the Hamburg Cyclassics (August 21) and the GP Ouest-France Plouay (August 28). But that schedule is up in the air after his fall.
“During next few days I´ll get back into training, then we´ll see how things are in regard to the next few races,” he said.