Vincenzo Nibali is undergoing assessment of a rib injury on Sunday evening after he fell in the opening kilometres of stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia. His Trek-Segafredo team said that Nibali had fallen from a standing position after braking to avoid the mass crash that caused the neutralisation of the stage shortly after the start in Grado.
“Although none of our riders were directly involved in the early stage massive crash, unfortunately, Vincenzo Nibali fell from a standstill after braking to avoid a bicycle on the ground,” read a statement from Trek-Segafredo after the finish in Gorizia.
“After getting up on his own, kilometre after kilometre, he started to feel pain in his right hemithorax. The condition of the Shark will be evaluated in the next hours. It is not excluded to have an X-ray exam for a possible rib contusion.”
It remains to be seen whether Nibali’s injury will prevent him from taking the start of Monday’s tappone in the Dolomites, which features some 5,700m of total climbing, including the ascents of the Fedaia, Pordoi and Giau.
Speaking to Tuttobiciweb on Sunday evening, Trek-Segafredo manager Luca Guercilena acknowledged that Nibali was “obviously suffering” when he reached the finish of stage 15 in Gorizia.
“Vincenzo had managed to stop and avoid the crash but then he was hit by other riders who hadn’t been able to stop,” Guercilena said. “In the heat of the moment, he didn’t have any problems but the situation got worse after the final kilometres in the rain and cold.
“Vincenzo arrived at the bus in pain, and I would say obviously suffering. Now he is in the hands of Dr. Emilio Magni, who is assessing the injury.”
Nibali has struggled throughout this Giro having sustained a broken wrist in a training crash just three weeks before the race got underway in Turin. The Sicilian succeeded in limiting his losses on the uphill finales of the opening week and he attacked on the descent into Bagno di Romagna on stage 12.
Nibali’s GC aspirations were definitively ended on Monte Zoncolan on Saturday, however, when he came in more than 12 minutes down. He currently lies 17th overall, 14:25 behind maglia rosa Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers).
“I wasn’t on a good day,” Nibali said at the finish. “How does my Giro change? I don’t know, we’ll see. I don’t have the legs of my best days.”
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