Pozzovivo: They've ended my career

Domenico Pozzovivo fears that his professional racing career may be over after colliding with car while training in the south of Italy. 

The 36-year-old Bahrain-Merida rider suffered multiple fractures in his leg, upper and lower arms and collarbone, including compound fractures to the tibia bone in his lower right leg and the humerus bone in his upper right arm. He also has several suspected fractured ribs and a bruised lung.

"He's taken a big hit," Bahrain-Merida doctor Emilio Magni told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "The first goal, considering that Domenico is 36, is to make a full recovery, then we'll think about him as an athlete."

Pozzovivo underwent surgery late on Monday, with orthopedic surgeons stabilizing the lower leg fracture with an external rod system. The complex elbow fracture has been cleaned and set. Because Pozzovivo was hit from the front, he also needed several stitches in a facial wound on his forehead.

"They've ended my career," were the first words Pozzovivo uttered to his wife after the crash in the Calabrian countryside.

"He's in pain and out of danger but it's serious," his wife told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "When he woke up after surgery he said: I want to go home."

Pozzovivo hails from Policoro in the south of Italy and was riding near his wife's hometown of Cosenza. He is likely to be transferred to a specialist hospital in Lugano, near his home in Switzerland.

Italian police are investigating the incident. Pozzovivo was reportedly hit by the right side of the car, smashing the vehicle's windscreen and side window.

Pozzovivo was training for the Vuelta a España, where he was expected to be one of the team's leaders in the absence of Vincenzo Nibali. He had finished 12th overall at the Tour de Pologne and was about to head to altitude on Mounty Etna for a final block of training.

In August 2014, Pozzovivo sustained a fractured tibia and fibula in a training crash near the Stelvio when a cat ran across the road in front if him. Those injuries forced him out of the 2014 Vuelta. During the 2015 Giro d'Italia he crashed hard during stage 3, suffering serious facial wounds and a head trauma. This spring he crashed during the final of Gent-Wevelgem, suffering further head injuries.

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