Italian national champion Giacomo Nizzolo has recovered from the pollen allergies and lack of form that forced him to abandon the Giro d'Italia and will return to racing at the Hammer Series in Limburg. Nizzolo's 2017 season has been disrupted by an ongoing knee injury but was able to line out for the 100th Giro where he finished fourth on the opening stage.
The Trek-Segafredo rider again came close to the stage four sprint where he finished third but was a non-starter on stage 11. Nizzolo provided an update on his condition to his team website, explaining he is still no at 100 per cent.
"To be honest, I am still not feeling super, but the blood tests we did a few days ago confirms that I am recovering, so hopefully also the way I feel will start to improve over the next couple of days!," said Nizzolo.
"I will compete in the Hammer Series this weekend, and I am really curious to see how this new concept will develop. I have no idea of what to expect, the mentality during the race will certainly not be the same as in any other race. One thing is for sure: it will be a very fast race and a good test for my condition after I had to leave the Giro. "
With only 17 race days in his legs so far in 2017, Nizzolo's programme is well down in his 2016 season, but the 28-year-old is aiming high in defence of his GP du canton d'Argovie title.
"I will go to Gippingen, which is obviously more of a classic race. If you are in good shape, it's a race that you can really enjoy, but if you’re not good yet, you will suffer a lot, I can tell you that! Like any other circuit race, you just know they will go full gas from the beginning, so it will be interesting to go back there in different conditions than last year," he said. " Of course, I hope to repeat my victory, but let's be realistic, I don't have a lot of race days in the legs, and with such a hard race, that might be difficult."
After his GP du canton d'Argovie success of 2016, Nizzolo went on to win the Italian tricolour and will be hoping to successfully defend his title.
Teammate Laurent Didier was also forced to abandon the Giro d'Italia although the Luxembourger is uncertain when he can return to racing.
"The doctors diagnosed me with a bundle fiber tear, and unfortunately I still can't go on the bike because I cannot bend my leg over 80 degrees," said Didier, who crashed into a roadside barrier with his left leg. "I am doing some isokinetic exercises, but yeah, it has been two weeks off the bike already, and we have to take this week by week.
"I don’t know when I will be back on the bike again, but when I can start riding, I will first have to go on the Cycleops [trainer] just to make my leg do the movements again. After that, I can go on the road as well, but like I said, right now the timing of all that depends on how my muscle heals. It will take some time before the muscle is completely back to its normal condition."
The 32-year-old has suffered several injuries in recent years and isn;t daunted by the rehabilitation process to return to the peloton. Despite not knowing what that date is and having to miss his national championships, a race he won in 2012.
"That also means that I cannot say yet when I will start competing again," he said. "The Luxembourg nationals will come too soon, that I know for a fact, and after that? Who knows?"