Fontana injured in crash with journalist

Marco Fontana crashed and injured his shoulder while riding at his Cannondale Factory Team camp in Finale Ligure, Italy, on Wednesday. As a result, Fontana currently has his arm in a sling and is off the bike, but he is eager to get back to preparing for the first UCI Mountain Bike World Cup of 2012 in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

"We were riding with journalists on a trail, and a guy in front of me went sideways and crashed," said Fontana to Cyclingnews. "I couldn't go anywhere else, hit his back wheel and fell down on my shoulder and dislocated it."

"I had to go to the hospital and have them put it in again." The shoulder was out of its socket for about one hour, but Fontana was optimistic about his recovery.

"Normally athletes have a quick recovery for this kind of stuff. They said how long recovery would take at the hospital, but you know in the hospital they say a lot of things. If they say 20 days, I say half of that and then half of that again."

It wasn't the first time that Fontana has dislocated his shoulder. In the other instance, he was also riding in Finale Ligure, about two years ago. "It was the end of the season two years ago and I was kind of racing with a dirt jumper downhill," he said. "He didn't think I could go that fast. That time, my physio was able to put my shoulder back in right away. Since then, I have trained my shoulder to get it stronger. So I had more muscles this time and it was harder to put back in because the muscles were all tight this time around."

Fontana will visit his doctor in Milan tomorrow for a more thorough assessment. "My physio says it's not a big deal and that I'll be able to compete in South Africa. What I have to see is how many days off I will have and how ready I'll be for the World Cup. Right now, I can't say much except that I want to race in South Africa."

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