Daniele Colli has had successful surgery on his broken left arm. He plans to file a criminal complaint while his Nippo-Vini Fantini team is likely to open a civil case in search of compensation following the crash in the finishing straight of stage 6 of the Giro d'Italia that left the Italian rider with a broken arm.
Colli was the first faller and worst-affected rider in the crash in Castiglione della Pescaia that saw maglia rosa Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) suffer a dislocated shoulder. Television images show that Colli’s crash was caused by a spectator on the roadside who had leant across the barriers to take a photograph in the final 200 metres.
The Italian had surgery on Friday, and reported on his Facebook page, that the procedure was "long and painful", with two screws being inserted. He will remain in hospital for several days, and could return to training on rollers within the week.
"Daniele will file a criminal complaint today as the injured party, and afterwards we could lodge our own civil complaint for compensation for the damage caused to the team," Nippo-Vini Fantini manager Francesco Pelosi told Cyclingnews in Fiuggi on Saturday.
Although the spectator involved in the incident has not been named publicly, reports in the Italian media suggest that his identity has been established locally. Speaking from hospital on Friday, Colli expressed his dismay that the spectator had not contacted him to apologise.
"The police have more or less identified this person, he’s a 30-year-old guy with a passion for photography. He was outside the barriers, he wasn’t accredited and he injured Daniele with the zoom lens of his camera maybe because he was looking at the pictures he had just shot," Pelosi explained.
"I would say that it deserves a complaint. The fact that he hasn’t apologised aggravates the situation and demonstrates that he’s a person who isn’t worthy of being allowed to get away with it."
Pelosi agreed with Giro director Mauro Vegni and Tinkoff-Saxo owner Oleg Tinkov, who are both uneasy about the idea of responding to the incident – and the crash in Genoa on stage 2 – by introducing more prohibitive barriers on the roadside.
"The beauty of cycling is that it doesn’t put too much space between the public and their champions, and even if you put up two-metre barriers, people will put their hands through them to take selfies," Pelosi said. "It might be an idea to put a corridor of 80cm between two sets of barriers, a bit like at concerts, which would limit the risks. But I’d work on improving the behaviour of the public rather than on new barriers. Because otherwise we risk having a spettacolo a long way from the public and that’s not good."
Colli’s crash is a blow to Nippo-Vini Fantini in their first appearance at the Giro, but Pelosi struck an optimistic note that Damiano Cunego – the team’s high-profile off-season signing – can make an impact as the race draws on.
"The incident is a motivation for the lads to win something for Daniele, who already has had to fight against a lot of things, worse things than this [including a tumour on his knee in 2010 – ed.]" Pelosi said. "As for Damiano, we don’t want to put him under pressure, we just want him to stay serene. We’re entering his terrain and there are more suitable stages for him coming up. He’s shown that he goes best in the second and third weeks."
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